By Aldo Panessidi
Carrier IQ is getting beat up. Amid the flurry and speculation around the use of its stealth-ware on handsets for certain carriers, the company now has to contend with a federal investigation. This is prompted by the software’s ability (and use of that ability) to track a number of activities conducted on smartphones including SMS and browsing without the users’ knowledge. And then sends that information to the carrier to use it as they see fit. Alas, it doesn’t take a legal eagle to note the potential for serious privacy law infringements. Unlocked cell phones provide an excellent way to protect yourself against carrier tracking your personal SMS and mobile usage.
In the wake of this bombshell, The Washington Post reports that Carrier IQ execs met with officials from the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) and also with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) on Tuesday. The article also included this response from the Carrier IQ representative, Mira Woods, “We are complying with all investigations at this time as we have nothing to hide […] we have been completely transparent through this process.” Leaving your valuable mobile devices unprotected is risky! Discover the latest in innovative protection solutions... stylish top brand bags, sleeves and cases allow you to protect your devices from scratches and blemishes. Tough on the outside, sweet on the inside our brand name protection accessories combine complete device coverage with sleek artistic expression.
Questions regarding these practices and technology first arose this September which Carrier IQ was able to quell. Unfortunately for the software company, a security researcher by the name of Trevor Eckhart recently thrust the company back into the spotlight and now into the arms of the FTC and FCC. While Carrier IQ insists that its software is actually innocuous and “collects enough information to understand the customer experience with devices on our network and how to devise solutions to use and connection problems,” Eckhart was able to prove that the company actually collected and shared data that could include personal data, location information, and key strokes. What better advertisement for unlocked smartphones is there? Discover the widest online selection of Bluetooth Headsets and BlueTooth Car Kits. Latest technology from top brand manufacturers. Hands free functionality is designed for the interactive 'on the go' lifestyle and allows safe driving.
As this is the kind of scandal that breathes life into 1984-esque conspiracy theories, it is no surprise that Tuesday also brought further allegations were made against the FBI, insinuating that the bureau may also be taking advantage of this technology to silently spy and collect information on smartphone users. The prompt for this accusation was the denial of a Freedom of Information Act request made to the bureau in regards to the Carrier IQ scandal. Consumers would be well advised to research the practices of carriers and manufacturers in this matter and leverage unlocked cell phones to protect privacy and information.
Smartphone manufacturers and carriers alike have also entered the fray to let the public know whether they use Carrier IQ’s software or now. Unfortunately, a public that feels betrayed and spied upon (and is still unaware of exactly what information has been gathered and shared from their smartphone usage) is not at ease or consoled by their statements. No doubt, class action lawsuits will be the next step in this ever unraveling drama.
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