In the wake of (largely faux) uproar over location data collection and retention in the iPhone and Android, Microsoft has finally posted information about what Windows Phone does. Long story short: Not much, and nothing to for privacy freaks to get weird over. Here’s the word:
To provide location services, Microsoft assembles and maintains a database that records the location of certain mobile cell towers and Wi-Fi access points. These data points are used to calculate and provide an approximate location of the user’s device by comparing the Wi-Fi access points and cell towers that a user’s device can detect to the location database, which contains correlations of known Wi-Fi access points and cell towers to observed latitudes and longitudes.
Microsoft’s location determination system uses a combination of available GPS, Wi-Fi access points, and cell towers to offer location services in the most efficient and effective manner.
You don’t have to use location services from Windows Phone. We believe you should always have choice and control over access and use of your device’s location. Before any application can gain access to information regarding a user’s location, you must allow the application to access your device’s location. Applications that use your location are required to provide the ability to turn off that application’s access to your location. And you can always turn off access for all applications by turning off location services.
There’s a lot more, none of it damning. Check out the original web site for more info.