HTC Hub, The Phantom Data Leaker Identified?

Mike Halsey MVP
Jan 21, 2011
Updated • Dec 1, 2012

I've been conducting my own investigation and tests into the "rogue app" which is leaking data on Windows Phones.  I want to stress at this point that my evidence was not collected in a scientific way and I've been wrong before.  While I'm pointing the finger in a particular direction I still could be wrong, it could have been a blip.  I think though you'll agree with me that they evidence is quite strong.

In investigating the phantom data leak I had a good look around the forums and, while there were a great many theories about which app was responsible, more people seemed to be pointing the finger at the HTC Hub Live Tile than anything else.  As I've got an HTC Mozart I decided to put this to the test.

Now I don't use the HTC Hub, preferring instead to use the excellent Weatherbug to deliver my weather information.  This too has a live tile and uses almost no data at all.  In fact my data usage for my Windows Phone sits at around 150Mb a month, and that's with the phone checking my email at least every 15 minutes and with some light web browsing too.

I will always wake up in the morning to see that my data usage hasn't increased at all because of this.  This is one of the advantages of having an HTC Mozart on the Orange network in the UK, they have an app which allows me to check my call and data usage in real time, any time.  It was this app I called upon in my investigation.

Before going to bed last night I switched in the HTC Hub Live Tile and set it to automatically download weather data every 3 hours.  The only other thing running here to poll the Internet was my email which, as I've said, uses almost no data.

At the time of going to bed my data usage was showing at 6Mb for the month, which is nothing really.  Upon waking this morning however I discovered that data usage had shot up to 18Mb, an extra usage of a whole 12Mb during the night.

Now I stress again that this is an unscientific test but in the absence of Microsoft or any other company coming clean and putting their hands up to accept responsibility, people around the world will still be leaking data from their phones and, perhaps, running up hefty data bills in the process.

All I can say is that we want to hear from you.  Try removing the HTC Hub Live Tile from your Windows Phone if you are experiencing phantom data loss and report back to us here whether it did or did not solve the problem for you.


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  1. angelus388 said on January 26, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Well so how ive managed to rack up anouther 40mb in one 24 hour period how is this possible? I think ill be contacting orange as thats a lot for sure.

  2. angelus388 said on January 25, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    I got my htc mozart yesterday and checked this afternoon and ive used 20mb of my 500mb for the month. I did a bit of light browsing and my email with hotmail was set up as when I got the phone so dont know how many times it updates. Ive got the me photo profile running to which isnt alot really.
    Ive removed the hub tile and put it to download once a day in settings but left the auto update on.

    Ill let you know what happens tommorow.

  3. ilev said on January 21, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Most of the users blame Yahoo.mail. Microsoft blame third-party but won’t say who it is :

    According to Microsoft:

    We have determined that a third-party solution commonly accessed from Windows Phones is configured in a manner that potentially causes larger than expected data downloads. We are in contact with the third party to assist them in making the necessary fixes, and are also pursuing potential workarounds to address the configuration issue in case those are needed. At this point in our investigation, we believe this is responsible for most of the reported incidents.

  4. exglade said on January 21, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Remove the tile, not uninstall, right? Just confirming. :/

    1. Mike Halsey (MVP) said on January 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm

      Yup! There’s no need to uninstall it. Simply removing the Live Tile stopped the problem for me immediately :)

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