Brighthand Bytes

Dec 6 2011   11:51AM GMT

Is Your Phone Spying on You?

Ed Hardy Ed Hardy Profile: Ed Hardy

One of the biggest news stories of the last week has been the revelation that many recent smartphones have an app called Carrier IQ pre-installed on them. This is either a simple diagnostic tool or a nefarious bit of spyware, depending on whom you ask.

Apple iPhone SpyingThe app is keeping a log of the phone’s activities and sending this information to wireless carriers. The companies who use it say this info is only being used to debug problems with the phone: dropped calls, battery failures, etc. Many users, however, resent that details like all the websites they visit was being collected without their knowledge, and with no way to opt out.

The company directly behind this app, also called Carrier IQ, has jumped to its defense, promising that what they do is completely innocuous. Nevertheless, lawsuits and a Congressional investigation are already under weigh.

Carrier IQ has been found on a wide range of devices — Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry. It has been estimated that it could be on as many a 140 million phones.

This issue is still playing out, so be sure to drop by Brighthand to keep an eye on the latest developments.  This story has been reported in the main-stream press, but not in the kind of detail we can bring you.

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