After last weeks shattering news that AT&T, Samsung and HTC were tracking every key stroke you make on your phone, there was a small application posted in the Android market and it went straight to the stop of the top download list; it checks to see if you have/are infected with the ‘life’ logger application called Carrier IQ.
It’s got pretty much everyone upset about the possibility that pretty much everything that you been doing on your smart phone is being tracked by the phone carrier no less. It’s amazing to me that the phone carriers would even approve such an application to be installed on the customers smartphone. With just the implications that a lawsuit could be filed based upon capturing information like that.
Not only was this a complete breach of privacy, but the way the information was being captured was totally unsecure. And it’s completely laughable for the phone carriers to come back and try to justify the information that was being captured, by classifying information as anonymous. Just because the information is anonymous, doesn’t make the practice of capturing information something that’s prudent.
Within just a couple of days of the story breaking about smartphones being spied upon, application was released in the android market called Voodoo Carrier IQ. The screenshot below indicates that the application is in sixth place as one of the most downloaded applications this week, but as of two days ago, it was in the number two spot.
Now there’s several applications in the android market that can identify the Carrier IQ application running, but so far none of the applications can remove Carrier IQ
Trevor Eckardt was a security researcher that discovered that Carrier IQ was running in the background; also exposing what information was being sent back to monitor the user’s activities. Most likely carriers like Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile will be looking at a class-action lawsuit that have been completely creeped out by the idea of someone watching every single keystroke you make.
The iPhone is not immune to Carrier IQ; Apple has this application installed on their devices as well, but they have issued a statement that Carrier IQ will be slowly phased out of all future versions of their products.
Unfortunately, you can’t simply uninstall the application, not even by contacting your carrier. Trevor Eckardt has an application that you can download that will remove the application from your phone, for $.99, but your android phone has to be rooted; that might be a problem for some people.
Larry Henry Jr.