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Microsoft's Web map exposes phone, PC locations


Microsoft has collected the locations of millions of laptops, cell phones, and other Wi-Fi devices around the world and makes them available on the Web without taking the privacy precautions that competitors have, CNET has learned.

The vast database available through publishes the precise geographical location, which can point to a street address and sometimes even a corner of a building, of Android phones, Apple devices, and other Wi-Fi enabled gadgets.
Microsoft assembled the database through crowdsourced data gathering from Windows Mobile 7 devices and through what it calls "managed driving" by Street View-like vehicles that record Wi-Fi signals accessible from public roads. Its Web interface is intended to provide "search results, weather, movie times, maps and directions based on a device's current location."

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