toggle

AAPL Stock: 121.21 ( -1.16 )

Printed from http://www.macnn.com

Microsoft publishes phone, computer locations on Web map

updated 02:30 pm EDT, Fri July 29, 2011

Company criticized for lack of security

Microsoft has reportedly published location information for Wi-Fi devices, such as personal cellphones and notebooks. The content is available from the company's Live.com location database, which is said to provide data that can be used to pinpoint certain device locations, connected to Media Access Control (MAC) addresses, down to a specific street address.

The discovery has led to criticism over Microsoft's security policies, as the Live.com database is said to be unprotected. A similar situation involving Google forced the search giant to enact policies that would prevent users from viewing specific location information.

In a statement that echoes Google's position, Microsoft told CNET that its location database does collect "tower IDs and MAC addresses of Wi-Fi access points via both user devices and managed driving." The company argues that it works to remove any MAC addresses that appear to move, which would point to mobile devices such as cellphones rather than stationary access points.

Despite Microsoft's efforts to purge mobile MAC addresses from its database, it remains unclear if a large number of personal location information remains in the system.




by MacNN Staff

POST TOOLS:

TAGS :

toggle

Comments

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook

toggle

Most Popular

Advertisement

Recent Reviews

HP 14-x030nr 14-inch Chromebook

If you're like us, chances are you've come to realize that you need the ability to access the Internet on the go. Also, you've prob ...

15-inch MacBook Pro with Force Touch

Apple's 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro continues to be a popular notebook with professional users and prosumers looking for the ultimate ...

Typo keyboard for iPad

Following numerous legal shenanigans between Typo -- a company founded in part by Ryan Seacrest -- and the clear object of his physica ...

toggle

Most Commented