Microsoft Releases Wi-Fi Data Collection Software Source Code

Software giant Microsoft has released the source code for software it uses to collect Wi-Fi hot spot data to quell privacy fears.

The company said in a blog post that the release demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment towards user privacy.

The move will allow privacy groups to study the source code and know for themselves that the company does not collected sensitive user data and identifiable user information.

Microsoft explains that it uses vehicles to collect data from Wi-Fi access points and cell tower locations. The company says that the data helps it to provide better location based services to the users of Windows Phone 7 and Bing Maps.

“The code, developed by the Windows Phone Engineering team, uses publicly documented interfaces for accessing cell tower, Wi-Fi data access point and GPS data. In addition to collecting and uploading GPS, Wi-Fi and cell data, it also includes other management and administrative functions related to provisioning, self-upgrade, self-recovery and diagnostics,” Microsoft said.

Microsoft rival Google had gotten into a lot of trouble for accidentally collecting user data including usernames and passwords from unprotected Wi-Fi networks in the US, Europe and other markets.