Practical Technology

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Carrier IQ tries to spin its way out of trouble


Carrier IQ, the mobile phone network analysis company at the heart of the smartphone spyware scandal, isn’t talking to me, but it is talking to AllThingsD. To them, Andrew Coward, Carrier IQ’s VP of marketing, explained that “The software receives a huge amount of information from the operating system. But just because it receives it doesn’t mean that it’s being used to gather intelligence about the user or passed along to the carrier.” Tell it to the judge. The class-action lawsuits have already begun.

Besides, thanks to white hat hacker Trevor Eckhart’s video we already knew that Carrier IQ’s rootkit was grabbing an amazing amount of private information. Coward explains though that “What it [Eckhart’s video] doesn’t show is that all information is processed, stored, or forwarded out of the device.”

OK, then why is it being collected if it’s not to be processed, stored, or forwarded? I mean I’m a former network administrator, I get why carriers want to know about why calls are dropped, why a text goes missing into the ether and so on. What I don’t get is why, for example, Carrier IQ or a carrier is collecting a text’s content.

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