A user of wireless smart phones equipped with the Microsoft Windows Phone 7 (WP7) operating system filed suit against Microsoft in a Seattle district court, alleging that the software giant intentionally designed its operating system to collect user location data even when the software’s tracking feature has been disabled by the user. Filed last week, the lawsuit puts Microsoft at the center of a continuing controversy over wireless location tracking and wireless privacy that has involved the popular Apple iPhone and the Google Android mobile operating platform. Although Microsoft told members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee last spring that the WP7 operating system does not track the whereabouts of mobile devices “unless a user has expressly allowed an application to collect location information,” the complaint contends that Microsoft’s representations to Congress were false as evidence provided by security experts shows that the WP7 phone camera application was designed to “thwart users' attempts to prohibit the collection of their geolocations, blatantly disregards its users' privacy rights, and willfully violates numerous state and federal laws.” Although WP7 phone users are prompted to either “allow” or “cancel” location tracking features, the complaint alleges that, even after users have clicked on “cancel,” the phone continues to transmit location data intermittently and surreptitiously, thus forcing “unwilling users into [Microsoft’s] non-stop geo-tracking program in the interest of developing its digital marketing grid.” As such, the lawsuit charges Microsoft with violations of the Stored Communications Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and the Washington State Consumer Protection Act, and requests an “injunction and punitive damages, among other remedies.” Officials of Microsoft offered no comment.