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Carrier IQ Hit With Senate Investigation, Has Until December 14 To Address Privacy Concerns

Funny-man turned Senator, Al Franken fired off a letter to Carrier IQ on Thursday regarding the company’s questionable practices. Carrier IQ has come under question in recent weeks after Trevor Eckhart revealed a major HTC security hole which led him to Carrier IQ. The software, which comes preinstalled on many smartphones, claims to assist OEMS and carriers in tracking device performance and problems. However, it is believed that the software gives both carriers and OEMs the ability to spy on users, even tracking which numbers are dialed, message content and much more.

Sprint admitted to The Verge that the carrier does in fact use Carrier IQ, but claims it is just for analyzing network performance. Sprint says it collects “enough information to understand the customer experience with devices on our network,” but that it can’t look at the contents of messages, photos, or videos using Carrier IQ. However, the original story broke when an HTC EVO 3D was shown logging keystrokes and call information.

Senator Franken has given Carrier IQ until December 14 to answer his concerns, until then you can sleep soundly knowing Verizon doesn’t use the software.

Via: Gizmodo, TheVerge

  • Spidey

    Well before you give too much credit to Big Red by believing their P.R. guy..I’m running a non-rooted Droid Eris on Verizon. Confirmed CIQ via Lookout app, Very disappointing.

  • Wmsco51

    The thing is this if you have been watching your permissions recently they are using software to get your phone number and serial number so they can detect who your calling and when plus your location and a recent article that was experiment to monitor customers in mall and stores they went to. So my point is developers stop putting it in the app my life is my business not there’s and advertising adds is just a smokescreen for knowing what you are up to. Now that being said just

  • jason6g

    So im curious. The thing that everyone is up in arms about seems to be that it can log your phone numbers dialed and message content (like the carrier doesn’t already log this)

    I would be more worried about it grabbing your passwords and the like (as you sign into online banking, etc), and eventually getting “hacked” and some scammer getting rich from said info.

    I feel that most all carriers should log *basic* network performance on various phones. if they see that alot of incredible 2′s have poorer network reception and quality than other devices, maybe they can issue an update to bump the power to the radio or something (if they even cared)

  • Anonymous

    linkhide.com.ar/47632

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000615318329 Kevin Kaykay Kim

    http://gizmodo.com/5864456/security-researchers-find-privacy-leaks-in-fundamental-pre+installed-android-apps
    North Carolina State University finds most Android phone full of privacy holes.

    Surprisingly enough, I couldn’t help but find it true. While we were supposed to have privacy and protections from bad apps, unless you read permissions with keen eyes, most of that stuff just don’t happen. There needs to be a proper anti-virus-like App for Android soon…

  • jbonics

    People people people…. check wikileaks stories there are devices for sale that can track every aspect of communication from a entire country, that’s every transmission of information any device any anything and everything…. get the point noobs…. got clueless??? Not saying this isn’t a God find. Is not on my buddy’s htc evo4g cm7……..

  • Anonymous

    Why two weeks? If there is a legitimate reason for carrier iq to collect data then it should only take two minutes to explain.

  • Anonymous

    I get the whole “just root” thing, but seriously, you shouldnt have to.

  • http://www.flayme.com/troll/ nanatroll

    Damn straight they should. Our lives are monitored via our smart phones enough already!

  • Anonymous

    linkhide.com.ar/47632

  • Wmsco51

    The thing is this if you have been watching your permissions recently they are using software to get your phone number and serial number so they can detect who your calling and when plus your location and a recent article that was experiment to monitor customers in mall and stores they went to. So my point is developers stop putting it in the app my life is my business not there’s and advertising adds is just a smokescreen for knowing what you are up to. Now that being said just

  • Anonymous

    Got Root, no worries here :)

  • jabm

    This is why we pay the big bucks to Verizon.

  • http://profiles.google.com/spc.hicks09 Gary Hicks

    Look idiots. Verizon has stated that they don’t use it, the nice folks at Droid-Life have tested Verizon devices and found no trace of CIQ on it. DL is not taking Verizons word for it, they checked their damn phones and found nothing. If you’re worried about it, stop being a cheap a** and go get the app that TrevE was kind enough to make and check it. If you have it, it’s only $1 for the PRO app to remove it.

    • jbonics

      Well said

  • Granted

    I also want to add a huge THANK YOU! To the XDA member who found this serious issue, and the awesome nature of his heart and those like him/her for looking out for all of the Android community, and exposing these bullshit practices that go on, so thank you again.

    I’m never touching a HTC phone now, never! Any other carrier or device has a similar problem like this, well I’ll be avoiding them like genital warts. I’m just so thankful people like this guy take the time to do some white hat investigating, and uncover nefarious deeds, you sir are a rockstar in my book!

    • Anonymous

      HTC is not responsible… the carriers are. HTC phones on VZ don’t have this – my friend checked his Incredible 2 tonight, it’s fine.

  • Granted

    Thank the Lord this isn’t on my phone! Considering how paranoid I already am, well if Verizon had this on my phone I would absolutely stop using any smart phone, for good, never again, ever! That is just bullshit,I have a damn right to be “paranoid” with shit like this popping up all the time. Guess it’s back to using encrypted messaging, although a keylogger would kind of kill that idea. Unless I used an on-screen keyboard like my one encryption app has an option for.

    And when the hell did that moron Franken become a senator!? Isn’t that Stuart Smalley? I mean did no one watch how horrible that skit was and think…”Gee, this tard is probably not a good candidate for the senate, or for that matter anything besides being a peep show janitor!”. I was totally fine with that badass Arnold being in the government, if not just for the fact of how awesome he sounded when he pronounced California, Kall-EEE-Forwarnia. But damn, Franken a senator, at least I highly respect him going after these information hackers! Screw the cloud, and screw all of this kind of espionage on my rights.

  • Christopher Riner

    btw, it is DEFINITELY confirmed that verizon does not use carrier iq, but if you read the link that colin mackenzie posted, it says that when verizon was asked if they used similiar software from a different company, there was no response… I wouldn’t go off congratulating verizon and being happy that they did something non a-holish– remember how verizon is.  That company is such a big a$$hole that their turds are probably the size of redwoods.

    http://bit.ly/vWeAJF

  • Anonymous

    Verizon deserves a lot of respect for not using this service seeing as how every other major carrier does.

    However, just because there not using carrier iq, doesn’t mean there not using something as bad or worse.

  • Wmsco51

    The thing is this if you have been watching your permissions recently they are using software to get your phone number and serial number so they can detect who your calling and when plus your location and a recent article that was experiment to monitor customers in mall and stores they went to. So my point is developers stop putting it in the app my life is my business not there’s and advertising adds is just a smokescreen for knowing what you are up to. Now that being said just

  • http://MakeCash2.com Dora Ramon

    @7ae0539888117fadfd34ccf9a5ddeef7:disqus all the carriers.. my roomate’s step-sister makes $78 every hour on the computer. She has been without a job for 5 months but last month her pay was $7987 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more here..http://smlk.es/3gp-yu1

  • Arby

    Or at least Verizon *says* they don’t use it.  And we all know Big Red is honest and reliable.

    • Wmsco51

      The thing is this if you have been watching your permissions recently they are using software to get your phone number and serial number so they can detect who your calling and when plus your location and a recent article that was experiment to monitor customers in mall and stores they went to. So my point is developers stop putting it in the app my life is my business not there’s and advertising adds is just a smokescreen for knowing what you are up to. Now that being said just run the damn app and Verizon runs its own software we just don’t know what it is yet.

    • Anonymous

      How exactly would they hide it?  With all this hoopla there’s certainly gotta be an Android dev (or many) out there looking into the claim…

  • Anonymous

    So I’ve tweeted this msg. to several different android related individuals with no response.  On my Tbolt there is an application called “DM COMMAND SERVICE” that has the same permissions as the one Carrier IQ has in the youtube video.  Any thoughts or ideas?

    • Anonymous

      anyone? bump

      • Christopher Riner

        hmm, i have a charge so im not sure, but its a possibility.  If they have similar software then i’m sure its fairly incognito.

  • http://www.facebook.com/achapman91 Drew Chapman

    My DX sends texts to the wrong people sometimes and shows that it sent to the proper person. Makes me paranoid

  • Anonymous

    The department of homeland security ordered all the carriers to have this installed. Why else would Android, ios, et al. It was a “modification” of the patriot act. Why just in the US? Because our government is moderating us. Why else install it on the fastest growing medium there is? There you conspiracy theorist. Have fun.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll bet you Carrier IQ is sorry they ever messed with the develper in the first place.

  • zUFC

    Finally Verizon. You did something right and i don’t have to bash you…

    but please please please release the nex, please…

  • Anonymous

    I find one thing severely wrong with this post.

    Al Franken was never funny.

    • EC8CH

      Not Funny?

      • Anonymous

        Nothing I’ve seen him perform has ever made me laugh. I just don’t think he was very good.

        • http://an.droid-life.com/ Dan

          SNL, enough said :-P

          • Mctypethings_Gay_lover

            Those were the worst years ever. When Chris Farley died, do did SNL.

          • Anonymous

            “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough…and gosh darn it people like me”

      • GOTSOOT

        Ahh yes, the honorable Sen Al Freakin. Only in MN could we elect a washed-up and paranoid pro wrestler as Gov, and a washed-up liberal comic to the Senate.

        I’m ashamed by my fellow Minnesotans.

        • Christopher Riner

           dude i would love to have your leadership.  You know if push comes to shove your leaders can kick ass and take names (even if its staged) and if that doesn’t work, maybe a laugh can solve the problem.  At least you don’t live in virginia, the “commonwealth”

        • http://twitter.com/Jubmasterflex Jubby Salhi

          You forgot the Queen of the Loonies…Bachman.

        • Anonymous

          Franken’s the only one standing up to this so far and you’re pissed that he’s there?  I hate politics in this country.

  • Andy Capped

    Is this tracking only being found on phones, or are tablets being exploited too?

  • Anonymous

    I will call your cease and desist letter and raise you a Senate Investigation.  lol this is great.

    • EC8CH

      I’ll call your Senate Investigation, and raise you millions of dollars in Telecom lobbying money.

  • bigrob60

    Is this a possible +1 to VZW for not using tracking software. I think it is.

    • Paranoid

      They said they don’t use Carrier IQ.  They didn’t say they don’t track you.

      • bigrob60

        It was mostly a funny comment. Not serious at all. 

  • Pete

    Verizon doesn’t use it but HTC does.

    • http://an.droid-life.com/ Dan

      HTC does but not on Verizon. We have confirmed this with the Droid Eris, Incredible 2, Thunderbolt, and Rezound

      • Adel

        Are you a security expert? Have you contributed to the Android source code and know how it all works?

        • Anonymous

          He doesn’t have to be you can use a third party app such as anycut or launcher pro that have the ability to launch apps and services. They show all apps that the phones uses even the ones hidden to the user such as CIQ

          Derp

          • TinFoilHats

            What makes you think it can’t be hidden from apps like AnyCut. OEMs have the entire source to play with.

        • Born2Rip

          I don’t think the writers of Android Life usually jump out and confirm anything unless its confirmed Adel. I believe they have the means to check this as this point. 

        • Anonymous

          No he is just far more involved in the community than you.  And what he is saying is right.

  • Anonymous

    Verizon doesn’t use the software. Lets just take there word for it. They have never bent the truth, lied to us in the past, or tried to rip us off. Hey whats this thing called VZW IQ on my phone, lol.

    • http://an.droid-life.com/ Dan

      I checked both of my VZW phones and neither contained it :) I will trust them just this one time. 

      • http://twitter.com/slole1 Slole One

        How can you be sure? Are you running a custom ROM? Wouldn’t that have wiped the old info anyway? Perhaps they are putting it on one out of every 1000 devices then running variable forms of statistics from there.  It’s hard to believe CIQ didn’t offer Verizon what it offered other carriers and for Verizon to turn down a small contract run (which could have been a trial, etc) seem ludicrous to me.

        • http://an.droid-life.com/ Dan

          I am a bit shocked that Verizon was one of the few to not use it, but hey more power to them. Our phones weren’t running custom ROMs (don’t tell anyone) and we didn’t find anything relating to it. 

          • Anonymous

            Was the Bionic one of the ones you tested by chance? Thats what I have.

          • Christopher Riner

             bionic is a motorola, I think carrier iq has the contract with htc (the contracts are with the manufacturers, not the carriers.  However I think the carrier has the right (like with bloatware and everything else) to approve whether or not the device is sent to the consumer with/without the software– but I may be mistaken).  Point is, you got a motorola, I think you’re safe.

          • Anonymous

            Moto Atrix has it.

      • Eken

        I’m not trusting them on their word but I’ll still use their service. Though I am worried about 3rd parties somehow gaining access to this data (ie. app, browser exploit, etc.) and stealing my identity or some other crime.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/ytramx Ytram

      This has been independently verified.

  • Anonymous

    Hope the lying pricks get put out of business. Sucks that android devices had more stuff logged than apple devices did, but the carriers and the company should pay for their invasive BS (if it is determined to be such)

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like something J Edgar Hoover would use on us :P

  • Anonymous

    They moved quick with this, should be interesting to see how CIQ responds.

  • James

    I don’t get it. Shouldn’t the ones who use it (OEMs and carriers) be in more trouble?

    • Luis

      Ya, it’s not CIQ’s decision to not disclose what’s being tracked.

    • Rich

      no, because they are big and provide money to the lazyies who work in what we call govt…

      Plus didn’t you know this is probably part of the patriot act so nothing is secure anymore…

    • Anonymous

      No, they contribute too many campaign donations. 

  • Bob Dlux

    Did they ever say if ATT is using this on their phones?

    • http://twitter.com/TheDilge Tim Dilger

      I saw somewhere that they were.  Would provide a link, but im lazy.  Ask google.

    • Colin Mackenzie
  • DroidzFX

    In ya face like eggnog

  • Anonymous

    Get em Al!

  • http://twitter.com/slole1 Slole One

    Please don’t buy into what a company spokesperson has stated. The layers of this are just starting to be revealed and I am not going to believe Verizon until a full investigation is completed.

    • Keith Sumner

      There’s no reason to investigate verizon, people in the dev community have checked their phones and have confirmed no trace of such an application, and VZ has come out and said that they don’t use it, that’s good enough for me. 

  • Anonymous

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEnJDaqT3-0
    Only perfect for this occasion. 

  • http://twitter.com/Drweird13 Brian

    RIP Trevor Eckhart.