Microsoft wants to “find the location of every Windows Phone device in the world”

imageIn what is a poorly timed job post, Microsoft is looking for a software engineer to help them find the exact location of every Windows Phone 7 phone in the world, if not by GPS then by “using signal-analysis techniques to compute location”.

The exact job description states:

The team is looking for highly motivated, extremely intelligent, and deeply technical people to build the core location service platform. We are tasked with delivering a highly scalable service to find the location of every Windows Phone device in the world, either by assisting GPS, or by using signal-analysis techniques to compute location where GPS cannot. You will work closely with MSR and other research groups to improve our algorithms for mining large amounts of data using Bayesian analysis and other machine learning techniques. We have incredibly hard problems to solve in the coming year such as solving the indoor positioning problem as well as motion detection and relevance based positioning.

Given the recent accusations of tracking even without permission Microsoft may have been wise to moderate the language of the ad at least for a few months.  Of note however is that some researchers have not been able to replicate the findings of the security researcher who originally supported the accusations, with the case hopefully fizzling out soon.