By Aldo Panessidi
The Big Brother-esque actions of major carriers like ATT&T and Sprint has many consumers in an uproar and clamoring for vindication. There is major concern of the possibility of Carrier IQ installed a tracking device that monitors texting keystrokes and cell phone usage on mobile devices. The vendor is known for its root kit software which may be reporting users’ keystrokes, messages, and browsing history. This is an amazing case touting the many benefits of unlocked smartphones where you as the consumer can choose a carrier that does not work with Carrier IQ.
According to aforementioned vendor, the carriers use the software to “collect enough information to understand the customer experience with devices on our network and how to devise solutions to use and connection problems.” That is fine and dandy, but the capability of the software to stealthily share sensitive information is alarming and Carrier IQ gives the carriers access to most or all of it. Enhance your mobility... turn your device into a power tool. Discover how premium electronic accessories specifically designed to make your devices functionally efficient and performance rich.
There is, however, a new app from BitDefender that will put Android phone users at ease to protect against the Carrier IQ intrusion. This neat app detects the Carrier IQ software on the Google OS phones within seconds. Google Market has made the Carrier IQ Finder app free. Upon installation, tap the icon and voila! You’re an informed consumer with the knowledge of whether the software is on your handset or not. This action is still advisable to consumers shopping for an unlocked phone that will be carrier-neutral.
Where to go from that point? Well. There are limited options. You can install the removal tool developed by Eckhart (the security researcher who discovered the Carrier IQ software on his handset) which can be found at this Android Market link: Logging TestApp Pro Key. Or, you can install a third-part ROM. Leaving your valuable mobile devices unprotected is risky! Protect your devices from scratches and blemishes with our stylish top brand accessories.
Because both of these actions require rooting the device (which makes sense in eradicating rootkit software), it is advisable to casual smartphone users to seek out a smartphone savvy friend or professional. The last recourse option is to wait for the carriers to issue software updates to uninstall the tool. This could come quickly as Carrier IQ related lawsuits are building up steam and the carriers will want to mitigate damages. Let our trend setting fashionable accessories express your unique style. Make your mobile devices stand out. Customize your look - discover how cool you can be.
The public is currently in the dark on how this technology and collected information has been used by the carriers in question. No doubt there will be more news and details made available in the coming legal circus, but until there is a true fix in removing the root kit on your smartphone, user beware of what information you’re making available and considering sidestepping the carrier-smartphone manufacturer exclusivity fray the next time around with an unlocked phone.