Own an HTC, Samsung, competing manufactures’ Android device? Chances are your phone is spying on you thanks to kernel-level tracking software by Carrier IQ. No, this isn’t another Android virus article, but one that is potentially more alarming given the depth of the tracking.
The gist of the story: Carrier IQ is installed on Android (and potentially more) devices from more mainstream manufactures (as listed above) and runs at an extremely low-level (read: kernel-level) environment. Because of this, end users have absolutely 0 control over how it racks, what it tracks, or when it tracks. Hell, we don’t even have the ability to see when it’s running or what data is being sent where.
Even more alarming, however, is how Carrier IQ has responded to the XDA memver who discovered the software, Trevor Eckhart (TrevE) — they’re suing him. The legal letters sent Trevor’s way are pretty intense and full of lots of C&D verbiage and legal buzzwords.
Cutting through Carrier IQ’s BS, it’s easy to see the company is simply trying to cover their tracks and keep the scope of their tracking out of the public spotlight. Unfortunately for Carrier IQ, it appears they’re all incompetent and/or haven’t heard of the Streisand effect — that is, trying to suppress potentially incriminating news will only lead to a much more public, brutal reveal down the road.
All that said, Trevor has signed the EFF as his legal council who know a thing or two about strongly worded legal letters themselves. Ball’s in Carrier IQ’s court now. This should be interesting…
- Carrier IQ’s legal claim: Read
- EFF’s official response to Carrier IQ’s claims: Read
Carrier IQ has officially dropped the lawsuit and issued a formal apology regarding the matter.