Dissecting Case 01438 Exhibit B, Part 3

Last week, I tested location-reporting features present in versions of Windows Phone OS ranging from RTM (Gold) to 7.0.7392. All of the versions exhibited the same behavior – they sent a bunch of location data before an application requested it (which appeared to contradict what Microsoft had said earlier). With the distribution of OS version 7.10.7720.68 (codenamed Mango) today, I went ahead and updated my test Samsung Focus phone.

I have confirmed that Windows Phone “Mango” no longer sends location data prior to being granted permission to do so. The behavior I’m now seeing is perfectly aligned with Microsoft’s letter to the U.S. House of Representatives (Exhibit A, emphasis mine):

[1. User Choice and Control.] Microsoft does not collect information to determine the approximate location of a device unless a user has expressly allowed an application to collect location information. Users that have allowed an application to access location data always have the option to access to location at an application level or they can disable location collection altogether for all applications by disabling the location service feature on their phone.

[2. Observing Location Only When the User Needs It.] Microsoft only collects information to help determine a phone’s approximate location if (a) the user has allowed an application to access and use location data, and (b) that application actually requests the location data. If an application does not request location, Microsoft will not collect location data.

Some questions still buzzing around in my head – was the previous behavior incorrect? What will become of Case 01438? Also curious is that “Mango” went RTM July 26. The case paperwork was filed August 31, 36 days later. Was this bug already known prior to the case?