Emulator Build 9900 of Windows Phone 8 SDK Leaks - Privacy Advocates Concerned Over Microsoft's Services Agreement Update

The latest build of Windows Phone 8 SDK said to be given to a selected developers by Microsoft, leaks today.The emulator compiled at build 9900, is said to be the close to the RTM build of Windows Phone 8 - and it includes a completed version of IE10, Kids Corner, and more. In other Microsoft […]

The latest build of Windows Phone 8 SDK said to be given to a selected developers by Microsoft, leaks today.

The emulator compiled at build 9900, is said to be the close to the RTM build of Windows Phone 8 - and it includes a completed version of IE10, Kids Corner, and more.

Windows Phone 8 SDK Emulator Build 9900 - Pic 1 Windows Phone 8 SDK Emulator Build 9900 - Pic 1

Windows Phone 8 SDK Emulator Build 9900 - Pic 1 Windows Phone 8 SDK Emulator Build 9900 - Pic 1

Windows Phone 8 SDK Emulator Build 9900 - Pic 1 Windows Phone 8 SDK Emulator Build 9900 - Pic 1

Windows Phone 8 SDK Emulator Build 9900 - Pic 1

In other Microsoft news, the company is said to updated its policies, that now empowers Microsoft how it gathers and uses personal information from consumers of its free, Web-based products like Outlook.com e-mail, Bing search engine and instant messaging.

"Microsoft's policy changes are much the same as those that of Google's made to its privacy rules this year, which drew scathing criticism from privacy advocates (including Microsoft, which bought full-page newspaper ads telling Google users that Google did not care about their privacy, an accusation it quickly denied), probing inquiries from regulators and broadside attacks from rivals, the New York Times report.

However, even though, Microsoft's policy, which it calls its Services Agreement, allows it to analyze customer content from one its free products and use it to improve another service like that of Google didn't received any critiques.

Microsoft does promise, however, that it will not use the personal information and content it collects to sell targeted advertising. But the new Microsoft policy does allow for such targeted advertising.

"Microsoft promised not to do so in blog posts and e-mails informing its customers about the change, but not in the formal policy. That has some privacy advocates nervous," NYT adds.

"What Microsoft is doing is no different from what Google did," said John M. Simpson, who monitors privacy policy for Consumer Watchdog, a California nonprofit group. "It allows the combination of data across services in ways a user wouldn't reasonably expect. Microsoft wants to be able to compile massive digital dossiers about users of its services and monetize them."

A Microsoft spokesman, Jack Evans, says the company's plans are benign. He differentiates between the Services Agreement, also known as the terms of use, that was changed on Friday and the company's Privacy Policy, which was last updated in April.

He said the change put in place on Friday in the Services Agreement "did not alter our existing privacy policies." Those policies include a 4,000-word main policy and at least 16 related product-specific privacy policies.

However, he added, "one thing we don't do is use the content of our customers' private communications and documents to create targeted advertising. If that ever changes, we'll be the first to let our customers know."

"Over the years, we have consistently informed users that we may use their content to improve the services they receive," Evans said in a written statement. "For instance, we analyze content to improve our spam and malware filters in order to keep customers safe. We also do it to develop new product features such as e-mail categorization to organize similar items like shipping receipts in a common folder, or to automatically add calendar invitations," he said as quoted by NYT.