Do Tons Of Sprint And Verizon Phones Contain A Rootkit, Potentially Tracking All Sorts Of Info?
from the privacy,-what's-that? dept
Carrier IQ is used to understand what problems customers are having with our network or devices so we can take action to improve service quality.However, in digging into the details of the software, Eckhart realized that it can easily track all sorts of info, including what websites people are visiting and what keypresses they make. The software can also surreptitiously report where the phone is located. He further notes that the software is purposely hidden on a bunch of devices, and on many it appears that you simply can't turn it off.
It collects enough information to understand the customer experience with devices on our network and how to devise solutions to use and connection problems. We do not and cannot look at the contents of messages, photos, videos, etc., using this tool
Now, I don't think anyone is suggesting anything nefarious here. There are reasons why operators like to collect this kind of data and, in the aggregate, it seems useful. But, as Eckhart looked in more detail at training materials for the software, he realized it could easily be used to track at a much more granular level, down to individuals. The potential for abuse seems pretty high. Again, it's obvious why this software is installed, but it raises questions about what carriers are doing to make sure the software isn't being abused. It's also somewhat troubling that the carriers aren't all that straightforward about how this software is monitoring their users...