Microsoft has stopped identifying specific Windows Phone handsets when it collects location data from them, and will soon stop any unique device identifiers at all being sent to its location services, the company said yesterday.
In a blog post, Windows Phone chief Andy Lees said the data Microsoft collected from the smartphones was for identifying local "landmarks"--nearby Wi-Fi access points and cellular base stations--that in turn make it easier to ascertain Windows Phones' locations. "We've recently taken specific steps to eliminate the use and storage of unique device identifiers by our location service when collecting information about these landmarks," he said.
"Without a unique identifier or some other significant change to our operating system or practices, we cannot track an individual device," Lees added.
And in a letter responding to questions from the U.S. House of Representatives, also sent yesterday, he said: "Further, as part of its next scheduled update to existing Windows Phone 7 devices, updated devices will no longer send device identifiers to the location service and new phones arriving this fall will not send device identifiers to the location service."
Read more of " Microsoft stops tracking specific Windows Phones" at ZDNet UK.