updated 08:20 pm EST, Thu December 1, 2011
Carrier IQ claims it violates no laws
Carrier IQ in a statement late Thursday had already tried to counter possible legal investigations with a statement hoping to talk down fears over what its software does. Tapping "respected security expert" Rebecca Bace from Infidel for outside assessment, it said that while information like keystrokes, messages, phone numbers, and websites passed through the software, it wasn't actually recording that content. All information was encrypted when it sent out, the company said.
The carrier went on to flatly reject Senator Al Franken's suggests that it might violate privacy laws. "We vigorously disagree with these assertions," Carrier IQ said.
What information was being sent out was only being used for tracking the information that carriers actually needed, such as whether calls and messages were going out properly or how long it lasted on battery.
It also moved more of the attention to carriers, noting that they customized what information they got. Carrier IQ positioned itself as a "consumer advocate," saying that its tools were helping carriers figure out what problems existed, even in the middle of getting customer help.
The company's claims have yet to be individually verified. It left out some of the other problems raised with the way the software was installed on Android devices, however, such as the lack of transparency that the software exists and the inability to turn it off without hacks. Until iOS 5, iPhone users not only saw Carrier IQ off by default but had the ability to turn it off again.
Carriers that use it, so far AT&T and Sprint in the US, have argued that their data collection is limited and in line with privacy policies.