Update (16:42): Added”European networks are entering the fray”.
Update (6:55 p.m.): Google speaks, finally. See below.
As the Carrier IQ controversy continues, mobile carriers and phone manufacturers, as well as mobile operating system builders, are showing up in droves to engage in internal security management strategies. disasters.
Just a week ago, Trevor Eckhart posted a video to show how Carrier IQ’s “rootkit” software collects personal information, location data, and pretty much everything the user does on their device on YouTube .
Carrier IQ developers have since withdrawn a claim of copyright infringement after threatening legal action against the researcher after the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an internet civil rights group, came to his defense.
Tens of millions, perhaps more, are affected. It is not yet clear whether European citizens are affected by this developing controversy.
As users are savvy and given the skills to find and clean every smartphone, and Washington springs into action,
Over the past few hours, there have been a number of statements from various sources confirming the use of Carrier IQ in their phones or applied by networks.
Google denies any “affiliation with Carrier IQ”
The search giant turned giant of the Android ecosystem spoke to reporters today, after it was confirmed that Nexus devices do not include the software. Google responded and distanced itself from the tracking software company.
In a report:
“We have no affiliation with CarrierIQ. Android is an open source effort and we do not control how carriers or OEMs customize their devices.”
However, OEMs and Android handsets could still be affected. But Google says it doesn’t install the software on Android-based or compatible devices.
Apple confirms its use; iOS 5 unaffected
Apple made a rare public statement to AllD saying that although he had used Carrier IQ’s network diagnostic software in the past, it was removed in the latest iOS 5 mobile operating system.
“We have discontinued support for Carrier IQ with iOS 5 in most of our products and will remove it completely in a future software update.
With all diagnostic data sent to Apple, customers must actively agree to share that information, and if they do, the data is sent in an anonymous, encrypted form and does not include any personal information. We have never logged keystrokes, messages or any other personal information for diagnostic data and have no intention of doing so.”
Apple also said it will remove all traces of the tracking software in a future update for older devices running iOS 4.
HTC and Samsung confirm tracking in Android
Taiwanese smartphone giant HTC has confirmed that it uses mobile tracking software “as a requirement” from some US carriers. In a statement, he said:
“Carrier IQ is required on devices by a number of US carriers. Therefore, if consumers or the media have any questions about Carrier IQ’s practices or the data it collects, we advise them to contact their operator.
It is important to note that HTC is not a Carrier IQ customer or partner and does not receive data from the Carrier IQ app, company, or carrier partners. HTC is exploring the possibility of allowing consumers to opt out of data collection by the Carrier IQ app.”
Samsung, the most popular smartphone maker in the United States and supplier of many Android smartphones, has also confirmed that it integrates Carrier IQ into its products; also at the request of carriers. He did not, however, disclose which handsets carry the software.
AT&T and Sprint Confirm Use of “Network Diagnostics”
Cellular network giants AT&T and Sprint have both admitted that they both use Carrier IQ software.
AT&T, the largest network in the United States, said it uses the software to “improve the performance of the network and wireless services,” but clearly stated that it does not track user data.
Sprint also uses handset tracking software. In a statement to MSNBC, he said the software helps network performance and helps the company improve service. To add:
“We also use data to understand device performance to determine when issues arise. We gather enough information to understand the customer experience with devices on our network and how to troubleshoot any connection issues, but we don’t look at not and cannot view the contents of messages, photos, videos, etc., using this tool.
Although Sprint makes it clear that “the information collected is not sold”, adding that it will not “provide a direct feed of this data to anyone outside of Sprint”.
Verizon denies using tracking software
Mobile phone giant Verizon said via spokeswoman Debi Lewis, in a short and precise statement that:
“Reports of Verizon using Carrier IQ are false. Verizon Wireless does not add Carrier IQ to our phones, and the reports we’ve seen of Verizon using Carrier IQ are false.”
With tens of millions of subscribers in the United States, that should be enough to satisfy customers of one of the largest cellular networks in the United States.
Research in Motion, Nokia and Microsoft deny handset tracking
BlackBerry maker Research in Motion said it does not use Carrier IQ tracking software in its apps, phone hardware, or operating systems:
“RIM does not pre-install the CarrierIQ app on BlackBerry smartphones or authorize its carrier partners to install the CarrierIQ app prior to sale or distribution. RIM also did not develop or commission the development of the CarrierIQ application and has no involvement in the testing, promotion or distribution of the application.”
Nokia has also categorically denied that the tracking software is used in its devices. Spokesperson Mark Durrant said:
“CarrierIQ does not ship products for Nokia devices, so reports of them being found on Nokia phones are false.”
In a statement sent to ZDNet columnist Mary Jo Foley last night, Microsoft said: “The Windows Phone operating system does not include Carrier IQ software.”
UK networks enter the fray
Major UK cellular networks have added their comments to reassure users across the UK and Europe.
O2 told PaidContent that it “does not collect” any information through Carrier IQ. While the Telefonica-owned cellular network was reluctant to explain whether it used other diagnostic tools, its spokesperson pointed reporters to handset makers.
Vodafone UK said it “does not use Carrier IQ in any of its businesses”, adding that it does not use any other similar software. The company said it strictly adheres to privacy regulations in the jurisdictions where it operates, including Europe, which has some of the strictest data protection laws in the world.
Vodafone Portugal said it tested the service in 2009, but has since ended its relationship with Carrier IQ.
Orange, owned by France Telecom, painted a similar story, noting that whether or not Carrier IQ has been added to handsets in its network, the company does not validate it or any other similar diagnostic service.
T-Mobile has not yet commented.
T-Mobile has yet to respond to the controversy. As one of the largest networks in the United States, we eagerly await to hear whether tens of millions of customers have had their personal information invaded as a result of this sophisticated and deeply rooted tracking software.