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Microsoft turns up 'Scroogled' attacks with campaign against Google Apps

10 Apr 2013
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Microsoft has called on Google to stop providing user information to third-party Android developers.

Redmond claims that Google's decision to share user personal information with third-party app developers is an invasion of privacy. The computer giant's accusations come as part of its "Scroogle" campaign.

"Unlike Google, the Windows Phone Store doesn't share your personal information with app makers," said Microsoft in a blog post.

"Windows Phone has a robust app validation and certification process to help ensure that our apps are trustworthy and reliable for our consumers. Your privacy is our priority. If you can't trust Google's app store, then maybe you shouldn't trust Google for anything."

Microsoft has once again attacked Google over perceived privacy violations. In February, the company went after Google's policy of skimming through Gmail user's mail in an effort to send out target web ads.

Now, the firm is going after Android apps. Microsoft is starting a public awareness campaign and has released a recent research poll as to publicise Google's policy of sharing user information with third-party developers. 

According to the Microsoft poll, 87 percent Android users don't know that Google shares user data with third party developers. Another nine out of 10 users say they would disapprove of the policy.

Google has taken heat over the years for its data sharing policy. Early last year, Google and Apple were slammed by US senator Chuck Schumer over their decision to share user's name and address with third party developers.

Unlike Google, Redmond reports that it does not share user information with third-party Windows Phone app developers.

"Many apps involve personal subjects, like health conditions, disease management, and sexual behaviour. So you can imagine how their personal privacy is put at risk when the makers of those apps are given their full name, email address, and the area where they live," continued Microsoft.

"It would be easy to see how, in the hands of the wrong person, these personal details could be abused and further circulated: With your full name and ZIP code, third parties could easily locate your street address and demographic information."

Google has stated that it shares user information with developers in an effort to make sure users can still receive refunds and better customer support.

Google also claimed that it requires all app developers to sign agreements barring them from using the data unfairly.

The move comes following a recent Microsoft complaint against Google. Redmond claimed to the European Commission that Google was unfairly using its mobile OS to gain an illegal advantage in the market.

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James Dohnert
About

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club, CachedTech.com, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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