Update: T-Mobile has just emailed me a statement regarding Carrier IQ:
“T-Mobile utilizes the Carrier IQ diagnostic tool to troubleshoot device and network performance with the goal of enhancing network reliability and our customers’ experience . T-Mobile does not use this diagnostic tool to obtain the content of text, email or voice messages, or the specific destinations of a customers’ internet activity, nor is the tool used for marketing purposes.”
The last few days has seen a significant swell of information on pre-installed software from Carrier IQ on AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile smartphones. A security research and systems analyst was able to independently discover that the Carrier IQ software secretly logs the keystrokes of Android phones along with some Blackberry and Nokia devices. You can see the demo video below which shows in no uncertain terms the amount of information including the exact text of SMS messages this software is able to collect.
So far T-Mobile hasn’t commented on the Carrier IQ situation though AT&T and Sprint have come out denying that they collect any information. T-Mobile has promised a statement about the matter soon. Furthermore, you can see in the now-deleted T-Mobile forum post below another T-Mobile employee confirming the presence of the software but doesn’t show any cause for concern. The above (and still available thread) image has a T-Mobile forum moderator indicating that some information is collected “in the device to help T-Mobile improve their network” and links to Carrier IQ website for more details.
This matter isn’t going anyway anytime soon as United States Senator Al Franken has called on Carrier IQ to explain their mobile tracking software by December 14th, 2011. The Senator’s letter indicates that Carrier IQ may have violated federal privacy laws and concludes this is a very serious matter.
We have a feeling this already red-hot story is going to get a lot hotter.
T-Mobile, Carrier IQ