Today U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-MN) called on Carrier IQ to reveal exactly what the software records, whether it's being transmitted to Carrier IQ or any third party and if the data is protected against security threats. Because if it's not, the safety and privacy of American consumers is at risk.
Carrier IQ is a diagnostic tool used to help carriers and device manufacturers optimize their networks and hardware. It was not created as some sort of conspiracy theory-toting, Big Brother-esque thing made for the explicit use of evil corporations and lurking government officials. Yet last week when researcher and coder Trevor Eckhart noticed that CIQ has the ability to see everything a user does with his or her phone, things got a little murky.
"Consumers need to know that their safety and privacy are being protected by the companies they trust with their sensitive information," said Sen. Franken in a statement today. "The revelation that the locations and other sensitive data of millions of Americans are being secretly recorded and possibly transmitted is deeply troubling." Franken outlined all of his concerns in a letter to Carrier IQ President and CEO Larry Lenhar. Read the entire letter from Franken here.
Carrier IQ wasn't able to see as much information on iPhones, save for carrier, country, active phone calls and physical location (if location was turned on). Message content and keystroke-logging activity were not available. Apple claims that it has not been logging personal information, but that should be taken with a grain of salt given Apple's iPhone privacy controversies.
Image via Wikipedia.