Greg's Bite: Carrier IQ info
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Greg's Bite: Carrier IQ info

Posted by Greg Mills

I contacted Apple Media Relations Thursday morning requesting comment on the Carrier IQ privacy issue on Apple products and got a phone call back with an official statement from Apple, at 4:30 Central time. This is Apple's Official Statement on Carrier IQ:

"We stopped supporting CarrierIQ with iOS 5 in most of our products and will remove it completely in a future software update. With any diagnostic data sent to Apple, customers must actively opt-in to share this information, and if they do, the data is sent in an anonymous and encrypted form and does not include any personal information. We never recorded keystrokes, messages or any other personal information for diagnostic data and have no plans to ever do so."

Apple iOS users can turn off diagnostic software on their devices. Go into the Settings menu and follow these instructions. On an iPhone or iPad with the 3G radio, turning the Carrier IQ software off is very simple. Go to Settings/General/About/Diagnostic and Usage, then select either Automatically Send or Do Not Send. Done deal, no information will be collected or sent. Doing this with an Android phone requires using a large hammer and a concrete floor and sweeping up the resulting mess.

What we know now:

The Carrier IQ diagnostic software seems able to either collect and report on every single keystroke, app, phone call and text message that is entered on certain smart phones before it is even sent or be much more limited in what it does. It also can be opt in or opt out depending on what the networks and handset makers decide. See http://www.geek.com/articles/mobile/security-researcher-responds-to-carr... .

Sprint and AT&T have admitted they use the Carrier IQ diagnostic software service whereas Verizon denies they are involved in the newest mobile privacy scandal. See http://www.CarrierIQ.com for a scary countdown of the smartphones that have Carrier IQ software on them.

The Carrier IQ Keystroke Logger found on Android Phones and almost all other phones as well may have been added by the cellular networks before they sell the phone or simply baked into the operating system by the people who write the operating systems. RIM has already denied they have had anything to do with putting Carrier IQ on their various Berries.

I have been unable to get any new information on Microsoft's Mobile OS or Nokia's older OS, Symbian, but rumors are that Nokia is one of the companies that uses the key logger software. Android as an OS seems to be the worst offender as the Carrier IQ software on Android is fully functioning and has no easy way to be turned off. Google seems to be front and center in this most recent privacy flap.

The legality of the phone handset makers installing the key logger, the carriers in adding the software and the Carrier IQ company in collecting the data is very close to felony criminal wiretapping activity. Some legal experts think class action lawsuits and even criminal charges might put Carrier IQ company out of business and perhaps put those responsible in jail. Carrier IQ may have violated federal wiretap laws with penalties of up to US$150,000 per violation! The wiretap issue will be related to the data being general or specific for a certain individual. But, in any case, it feels like I ought to know what is encoded in my iPhone and what it does. Apple has done that, in my opinion, very quickly.

Wow, if only Congress was so fast in other issue. US Senator Al Franken, an outspoken mobile privacy critic has demanded that Carrier IQ CEO Larry Lenhart provide specific information about how the keystroke software is used. Senator Franken is quoted as saying "Consumers need to know that their safety and privacy are being protected by the companies they trust with their sensitive information." He said in a statement, "The revelation that the locations and other sensitive data of millions of Americans are being secretly recorded and possibly transmitted is deeply troubling."

The Privacy and Security statement at the Carrier IQ web site states:

Carrier IQ enables mobile operators, mobile device manufacturers, application vendors and other participants in the Mobile Ecosystem to deliver high quality products and services, based on what you want, where you want and to work and perform the way you expect.

In providing our products and services, Carrier IQ enables our customers to gather information on Mobile User Experiences. Carrier IQ's products were developed from inception to respect and protect user privacy and security. We have established "Best Practices" approach to privacy and security. Our products are designed and configured to work within the privacy policies of our end customers and include functions such as anonymization and encryption. When Carrier IQ's products are deployed, data gathering is done in a way where the end user is informed or involved.

With deployment on over 130 million phones globally, we have considerable experience in protecting the privacy of the end user and doing so in a highly secure manner. Information transmitted from enabled mobile devices is stored in a secure data center facility that meets or exceeds industry best practice guidelines for security policies and procedures.

Our data gathering and data storage policies are built from industry best practice. Our products allow us to address privacy & security requirements that vary country-by-country and customer-by-customer. There are a variety of techniques involved in protection of privacy and in implementation of security policy, including anonymization of certain user-identifiable data, aggregation of data and encryption of data, etc.

We work in partnership with our customers to ensure compliance with their data collection and protection policies. While much of the data we gather data is already available through alternate methods, we make it more efficient and useful – aimed at improving products, services and quality for the end user.

An interesting side note: the Wiki leaks gadfly with the white hair stated that as many as 150 organizations have access to you data already including governments. It feels like you might as well walk around with a flashing strobe light on your head and a loud speaker spewing out everything that happens on your smart phone. Not a nice feeling at all. This is sure to generate a lot of buzz. I will try to keep readers up to date on the most important information as it becomes available.

FaceBook has recently settled with the FTC on violating user privacy, Apple got busted for the location data "bug" and now secret keystroke software is found on potentially the majority of smartphones in use. My wife's throwaway TracPhone is looking more secure than my iPhone all the time.

That is Greg's Bite out of Carrier IQ's hide.

 
AAPL
$95.60
Apple Inc.
-2.55
MSFT
$43.16
Microsoft Corpora
-0.42
GOOG
$571.60
Google Inc.
-15.82

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

OneNote 15.2 - Free digital notebook fro...
OneNote is your very own digital notebook. With OneNote, you can capture that flash of genius, that moment of inspiration, or that list of errands that’s too important to forget. Whether you’re at... Read more
iStat Menus 4.22 - Monitor your system r...
iStat Menus lets you monitor your system right from the menubar. Included are 8 menu extras that let you monitor every aspect of your system. Some features: CPU -- Monitor cpu usage. 7 display... Read more
Ember 1.8 - Versatile digital scrapbook....
Ember (formerly LittleSnapper) is your digital scrapbook of things that inspire you: websites, photos, apps or other things. Just drag in images that you want to keep, organize them into relevant... Read more
OmniPlan 2.3.6 - Robust project manageme...
With OmniPlan, you can create logical, manageable project plans with Gantt charts, schedules, summaries, milestones, and critical paths. Break down the tasks needed to make your project a success,... Read more
Command-C 1.1.1 - Clipboard sharing tool...
Command-C is a revolutionary app which makes easy to share your clipboard between iOS and OS X using your local WiFi network, even if the app is not currently opened. Copy anything (text, pictures,... Read more
Knock 1.1.7 - Unlock your Mac by knockin...
Knock is a faster, safer way to sign in. You keep your iPhone with you all the time. Now you can use it as a password. You never have to open the app -- just knock on your phone twice, even when it's... Read more
Mellel 3.3.6 - Powerful word processor w...
Mellel is the leading word processor for OS X and has been widely considered the industry standard since its inception. Mellel focuses on writers and scholars for technical writing and multilingual... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.0.4 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
Freeway Pro 7.0 - Drag-and-drop Web desi...
Freeway Pro lets you build websites with speed and precision... without writing a line of code! With it's user-oriented drag-and-drop interface, Freeway Pro helps you piece together the website of... Read more
Drive Genius 3.2.4 - Powerful system uti...
Drive Genius is an OS X utility designed to provide unsurpassed storage management. Featuring an easy-to-use interface, Drive Genius is packed with powerful tools such as a drive optimizer, a... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Dawn of the Immortals Review
Dawn of the Immortals Review By Jennifer Allen on July 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: RESPECTABLE EXPLORATIONUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Dawn of the Immortals might not re-invent the wheel, but it does tweak it a little... | Read more »
80 Days Review
80 Days Review By Jennifer Allen on July 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: EPIC ADVENTUREUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad A fantastic and fascinating re-envisioning of the classic novel by Jules Verne, 80 Days is a delightful... | Read more »
Battleheart Legacy Guide
The world of Battleheart Legacy is fun and deep; full of wizards, warriors, and witches. Here are some tips and tactics to help you get the most enjoyment out of this great game. | Read more »
Puzzle Roo Review
Puzzle Roo Review By Jennifer Allen on July 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: PUZZLE-BASED TWISTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad A different take on the usual block dropping puzzle game, Puzzle Roo is quite pleasant.   | Read more »
Super Crossfire Re-Release Super Crossfi...
Super Crossfire Re-Release Super Crossfighter Coming Soon, Other Radiangames Titles Go 50% Off Posted by Ellis Spice on July 31st, 2014 [ | Read more »
Hexiled Review
Hexiled Review By Rob Thomas on July 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: HEX SELLSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad In space, no one can hear you… spell? Hexiled is a neat concept for a word scramble puzzle, but it doesn’t go too... | Read more »
Summoners War: Sky Arena Passes 10 Milli...
Summoners War: Sky Arena Passes 10 Million Installs! Posted by Jessica Fisher on July 31st, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Deep Loot Review
Deep Loot Review By Jennifer Allen on July 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: DIVE DEEPUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Dive deep in this fun explore-em-up that’s a little grind heavy but ultimately quite entertaining.   | Read more »
Despicable Me: Minion Rush is One Year O...
Despicable Me: Minion Rush is One Year Old, Gets its Biggest Update Yet Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 31st, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Fish & Shark Review
Fish & Shark Review By Jordan Minor on July 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: FLAPPY FISHUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Fish & Shark’s beauty is only scale deep.   | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

All Over For Tablets Or Just A Maturing, Evol...
CNN’s David Goldman weighs in on tablet sector doom and gloom, asking rhetorically: “Is this the beginning of the end for the tablet?” Answering that, he contends that hysteria and panic are... Read more
Letterspace 1.0.1 – New Free iOS Text Editor...
Bangkok, Thailand based independent developer Sittipon Simasanti has released Letterspace, a new text editor for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. Letterspace is a note taking app with an... Read more
Save up to $130 on an iPad mini with Apple re...
The Apple Store has Certified Refurbished 2nd generation iPad minis with Retina Displays available for up to $130 off the cost of new models, starting at $339. Apple’s one-year warranty is included... Read more
iPad Cannibalization Threat “Overblown”
Seeking Alpha’s Kevin Greenhalgh observes that while many commentators think Apple’s forthcoming 5.5-inch panel iPhone 6 will cannibalize iPad sales, in his estimation, these concerns are being... Read more
Primate Labs Releases July 2014 MacBook Pro P...
Primate Labs’ John Poole has posted Geekbench 3 results for most of the new MacBook Pro models that Apple released on Tuesday. Poole observes that overall performance improvements for the new MacBook... Read more
Apple Re-Releases Bugfixed MacBook Air EFI Fi...
Apple has posted a bugfixed version EFI Firmware Update 2.9 a for MacBook Air (Mid 2011) models. The update addresses an issue where systems may take longer to wake from sleep than expected, and... Read more
Save $50 on the 2.5GHz Mac mini, plus free sh...
B&H Photo has the 2.5GHz Mac mini on sale for $549.99 including free shipping. That’s $50 off MSRP, and B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software. NY sales tax only. Read more
Save up to $140 on an iPad Air with Apple ref...
Apple is offering Certified Refurbished iPad Airs for up to $140 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Stock tends to come and go with some of these... Read more
$250 price drop on leftover 15-inch Retina Ma...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on 2013 15″ Retina MacBook Pros by $250 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.3GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $2249, $250 off... Read more
More iPad Upgrade Musings – The ‘Book Mystiqu...
Much discussed recently, what with Apple reporting iPad sales shrinkage over two consecutive quarters, is that it had apparently been widely assumed that tablet users would follow a two-year hardware... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Sr. Product Leader, *Apple* Store Apps - Ap...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
Sr Software Lead Engineer, *Apple* Online S...
Sr Software Lead Engineer, Apple Online Store Publishing Systems Keywords: Company: Apple Job Code: E3PCAK8MgYYkw Location (City or ZIP): Santa Clara Status: Full Read more
Sr Software Lead Engineer, *Apple* Online S...
Sr Software Lead Engineer, Apple Online Store Publishing Systems Keywords: Company: Apple Job Code: E3PCAK8MgYYkw Location (City or ZIP): Santa Clara Status: Full Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.