Tecnology News: All Eyes on Carrier IQ Following Spyware Allegations
A network monitoring application has privacy watchdogs up in arms after a security researcher claimed that the software is capable of recording detailed phone activity and relaying it to carriers without the user even being aware that it’s present on the device. Various carriers and device makers are vehemently denying any involvement with Carrier IQ, and a U.S. Senator has demanded answers from the software maker.
Software from the company Carrier IQ that’s preinstalled on many mobile devices sold in the United States is capable of recording many of the activities performed on those phones and potentially relaying the data back to carriers, according to security researcher Trevor Eckhart. Eckhart refers to the software as a “rootkit.”
The revelation has caused a great deal of concern over user privacy. U.S. Senator Al Franken has demanded answers from the company, and carriers and device manufacturers are scrambling to confirm whether or not their phones contain the software and to what degree it’s used.
Carrier IQ’s software can track metrics ranging from dropped calls to device types to what websites the user visits and where the user is when visiting those websites, Eckhart warned.
The news has triggered allegations that such monitoring may breach wiretap laws. It has also led to a spat between Carrier IQ and Eckhart.
“The fact that they’re surreptitiously collecting keystroke information, websites visited and the general location of the user at the time they’re accessing different websites or information with their smartphone, without the express permission of the users, is stupid beyond description,” Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, told TechNewsWorld.
Carrier IQ did not respond to our request for comment for this story.
Many Android handsets reportedly include versions of Carrier IQ’s software. Iphones also allegedly use the software, but in a limited capacity that is only activated when the phone is in diagnostic mode.
Meanwhile, Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) spokesperson Jamie Ernst and Verizon Wireless spokesperson Debra Lewis told TechNewsWorld that their companies don’t preinstall Carrier IQ’s application on their devices…….Learn More
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