You may be aware of the growing controversy surrounding Carrier IQ, a piece of software found pre-installed on Droid and Apple phones that, according to developers who have investigated, is capable of detecting, recording, and transmitting various user actions and inputs. Among the data CIQ potentially has access to are location, SMS, apps, and key presses.
News of the software has been percolating for months on development forums, but when Trevor Eckhart recently summarized his findings, he found himself facing a cease and desist while Sprint vigorously denied the charges, saying “We do not and cannot look at the contents of messages, photos, videos, etc., using this tool.”
The claim was quickly retracted, but Eckhart has now released a video that seems to give the lie to both Sprint and Carrier IQ’s assurances.
Source: Carrier IQ Video Shows Alarming Capabilities Of Mobile Tracking Software
How to detect and remove Carrier IQ
If you’re using an Android phone or tablet, install Trevor Eckhart’s Logging Test App from XDA-Developers (version 7 at the time of publishing; scroll all the way down). Unfortunately, as this is an off-market app (an APK installer), you will need to push it to your device manually. The easiest way to do this is to email the APK to yourself, then download the attachment on your phone. If that doesn’t work, you need to install the Android SDK and use ADB. Your phone needs to be rooted, too (yes, carriers do not make this easy — to root your phone, Google “how to root PHONE_MODEL_HERE_”).
Hit “CIQ Checks” (see above) and the app will tell you if it’s installed. Pay $1 and the app will try to remove it for you (this doesn’t always work, though). Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be any other way to disable CIQ on Android devices. Carriers like AT&T and Sprint will almost certainly provide some kind of workaround in the next few days, though; the clamoring crowd is impossible to ignore at this point.
If you’re using an iPhone or iPad, head into Settings > General > About > Diagnostics & Usage, and click “Don’t Send.”
Update: This route is only available if you’re using iOS 5.
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