Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change
Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

Carrier IQ in Class Action Lawsuit Over Privacy Concerns

Carrier IQ, the company accused of installing eerily omniscient tracking software on 140 million phones, is back with a more detailed denial that its software does anything nefarious.

In a press release out last night, Carrier IQ says, "our software does not record, store or transmit the contents of SMS messages, email, photographs, audio or video." Carrier IQ also says it "vigorously disagrees" with charges that it violated wiretap laws.

Mess cleaned up? Not yet

Carrier IQ's statement sounds like an all-encompassing denial, but it doesn't explain why researcher Trevor Eckhart was able to show his own HTC phone logging his browser usage into a Carrier IQ application log. This YouTube video, now has over a million views or roughly double the tally from this time yesterday.

A key point: It remains unclear whether information is actually transmitted back to phone carriers. Carrier IQ has always maintained it protects users' privacy, "The data we gather is transmitted over an encrypted channel and secured within our customers’ networks or in our audited and customer-approved facilities." But what exactly does that mean?

Here come the lawsuits

Not surprisingly, lawsuits are being filed. A lawyer for four smart phone users has filed a class action lawsuit against Carrier IQ as well as HTC and Samsung. Attorney Steve W. Berman says in a press release, "We believe that CIQ (Carrier IQ) was intercepting and collecting private information from smartphone users that they had no right to monitor or record. Their actions, in concert with phone manufacturers and the various carriers, should raise the hackles of anyone concerned about privacy in the broadest terms."

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