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Microsoft's Windows Live will spy on you

Posted in the database on Thursday, December 15th, 2005 @ 07:21:00 MST (1239 views)
by Nick Farrell    The Inquirer  

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Big Vole is watching you

Cuddly software giant Microsoft will use its new Windows Live geolocation finder as a Big Brother location device for the police.

The service has a really good geolocation technique which can tell you where you are to five decimal places. [7.67874 pints of ale, Ed.]

Previous geolocation techniques, such as Intel's PlaceLab, have done all this covertly which made it impossible for anyone to get access to the information. However the new Voleware makes this material available in a format that can be seen by the forces of Microsoft.

Not only is this a little scary that Vole knows where you are, it also means that law enforcement groups can demand that Microsoft hand over the information.

In fact in Windows Live Local's licence agreement Microsoft admits that it will use the information collected to provide you with a “more effective customer service, to improve Location Finder and any related Microsoft products or services”.

Vole will disclose location information if asked by a member of the constabulary.

It will also use the information "to protect the personal safety of Microsoft employees or agents, users of Microsoft products or services, or members of the public."

If you think it is only those US colonials who will be signing up to having Vole spy on their whereabouts the licence states it applies to any country in which Microsoft or its affiliates, subsidiaries or agents maintain facilities.

Although we are uncertain how this will will fly passed European data protection laws.

More here.



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