Carrier IQ: FTC Investigates Company’s Software
In a turn of events that should surprise no one, the government has gotten involved in the Carrier IQ scandal that broke two weeks ago. The Washington Post is reporting this afternoon that executives from the company travelled to Washington yesterday to meet with officials at the Federal Trade Commission, as well as the Federal Communications Commission. There is no word on what specifically was said at the meetings, or what the results will be. A Carrier IQ spokesperson, however, said that the company was cooperating fully with federal investigators.
The Carrier IQ scandal broke two weeks ago when Android app developer Trevor Eckhart published a YouTube video calling the software a “rootkit” and purporting to demonstrate that it logged keystrokes, intercepted web traffic and SMS messages, and accessed location data. Carrier IQ has insisted that the software is provided to carriers and handset manufacturers solely for diagnostic purposes, that they do not collect personal information from users, and that the level of access displayed by the software in Eckhart’s video is a result of the software accidentally being left in debug mode by the handset’s manufacturer.
Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T have all admitted to using the software in their phones. Verizon phones do not have it, nor do Windows phones or Google’s Nexus Android phones (though Android-based phones from other manufacturers do have the software). Apple’s iPhones also include a version of the software which is only active when the phone is in diagnostic mode, and which can be disabled in the phone’s settings. The scandal has resulted in a storm of controversy. It has prompted calls for federal investigation on wiretapping charges, as well as at least three class action lawsuits, and had drawn the attention of Senator Al Franken, among others.[Source: Washington Post]