For the past few weeks now, the privacy concerns surrounding a piece of software that is installed on millions of mobile phones that allegedly logs location data and keystrokes including some other useful information.
Now, most phone companies that were alleged to be using that software in their phones are finally responding to the claims with denials of any involvement, but companies like AT&T and Sprint says they are using Carrier IQ software to improve performance.
Trevor Eckhart, a Google Android developer says the software is from a Calif. based company called Carrier IQ. Trevor says that the application systematically records keystrokes, and tracks phone users locations even while the device is not actually connected to the carrier’s network. Trevor charges rises in the mid-November, but his story began to gain momentum after he expanded his claims this Tuesday in a video he posted on Youtube, which now has more than half a million views.
Carrier IQ, the company in question claims its software is truly installed on about 140 million phones, but it doesn’t track keystrokes or the location of the users. Meanwhile, in Eckhart’s video, it shows when he was typing words into Google Android based phone that show up immediately in the Carrier IQ app log. Eckhart assures that the software can be found on Blackberry, Android and Nokia phones. Other people claims that Carrier IQ software is on Apple iOS phones.
Although, Eckhart’s accusations rises in mid-November, but now, some major phone companies are now responding to Eckhart’s claims.
Yesterday afternoon Sprint, AT&T, Samsung and HTC became the first phone companies to openly admit they use the Carrier IQ software. Sprint and AT&T emphasis that it is only being used to improve their network performance. HTC and Samsung on the other hand say they installed Carrier IQ’s application because most carriers requested it to be installed on their phones.
However, many other big smartphone companies are attempting to distance themselves from Carrier IQ presently.
Apple in its response says it has stopped supporting Carrier IQ with the iOS5 upgrade release, all because of this reason.
Also, Nokia and RIM (Research in Motion) denied Carrier IQ software ever existed on their phones, Verizon Wireless also tells GigaOM that it doesn’t use the software, and some other Major British wireless carriers such as O2, Orange and Vodafone as well claims they didn’t install the Carrier IQ tracking software on their phones.
So, who’s fooling who?