File-It-Under: I Spy!~
I can't tell you how I'm still kind of shock at this whole Carrier IQ mess,not only shocked but rather angry.When I first discovered this yesterday,the first thing that jumped into my mind was Sony and the Rootkit scandal (I will explain Rootkit Sony mess in depth in a later article).In case you readers have been away from the Internet for the past 48 hours,apparently we have cell phone carriers embedding tracking software within our precious smartphones mobile operating system.Before we go on any further, first what is Carrier IQ tracking.
What is it
Carrier IQ is the worlds leading provider of mobile cellphones Intelligence solutions to the whole Wireless Industry.It's the only embedded analytic's company that supports millions of devices simultaneously,the company gives carriers and smartphone manufactures clear insight to consumers mobile habits.According to Carrier IQ,it software comes preinstalled in almost 141 million handsets.
The software itself generally suppose to be harmless and not pose a threat to your privacy.But privacy concerns was brought to spotlight by a Internet security researcher name Trevor Eckhart,he expressed concerns over the analytic software extensive access to information.So concern he decided to make a video showing how the software operates and is able to access your web surf habits,logs keystrokes,deciphers encrypted information and puts them in a text format,the software basically displays the same behavior of the dreaded Rootkit virus.
The finger pointing this way and this way
As expected,many carriers and manufacturers are doing their share of passing the proverbial buck,finger pointing to the highest of degree.The only carriers admitting to using the software is Sprint and AT&T,both companies insist it uses Carrier IQ as a tool to improve network performance.Then there is HTC,they claim that it has nothing to do with Carrier IQ,nope,nada,no way,yet it's funny how there's opt-out-of-data collection feature embedded in their handsets,oops.Apple doesn't go unscathed to this controversy either,they claim that it doesn't use the software anymore and it will kill the software in its entirety in the next iOS update,but it's rather strange you have the option to turn off the feature in iOS 5,OK so when was Apple going to let its loyal consumers know about its Carrier IQ kill switch(blank stare).Microsoft,WebOS and HP quickly deny that they are using Carrier IQ's software,or are they,right about now who can you really trust.
Backlash you say? I'm sure lawyers are seething at the bit right about now,there will surely be enough law suits to go around to fill an entire planet.The problem is who do you sue? The balk of the lawsuits I'm sure will be directed towards Carrier IQ,but what about the carriers and even Apple,do they bare some responsibility also? The sad thing about this controversy is it will not go away anytime soon because you already have politicians like Senator Al Franklin hopping aboard this controversy wanting answers from Carrier IQ.
On the iPhone,or iOS go to "General settings"- Then About - Then Diagnostic & Usage Data if you see Automatically Send checked,check off "Don't Send" , that's if all done,you have now shut off Carrier IQ.
On the Android you have to download software from the Android market place,the Carrier IQ Detector,you have the free version and the paid for version,with the paid version the software detects Carrier IQ and removes it off of your smartphone.