updated 02:55 pm EST, Wed December 14, 2011
FCC, FTC involved in investigating privacy
The US government is now involved in investigating the presence of Carrier IQ software on cellphones, says the Washington Post. The newspaper mainly cites anonymous government officials, but also Carrier IQ spokeswoman Mira Woods. "We are complying with all investigations at this time as we have nothing to hide," she says. "We have been completely transparent through this process."
Woods elaborates that Carrier IQ CEO Larry Lenhart and senior VP for marketing Andrew Coward have met with officials at the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission, as well as some congressional staffers. An FTC spokeswoman contacted by the Post is refusing to confirm or deny an investigation, but the existence of one is allegedly backed by anonymous officials from the commission itself.
Three US carriers -- AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile -- have all admitted to using Carrier IQ code, which is installed on phones without user consent. The companies insist that the software is used in line with corporate privacy policies, but it is also believed to be capable of tracking every keystroke -- among other forms of data -- even if its creator insists that such logging may only have happened by accident. The main purpose of the software is stated to be improving customer experience. The FBI, however, is suspected of using Carrier IQ data in criminal cases, at the same time as the company contends it is unaware of any law enforcement agency doing so.