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Tag - Carrier IQ
Energy and Commerce Committee members GK Butterfield and Henry Waxman sent a letter to Apple Wednesday asking it for more information over ongoing app privacy concerns. The two said that a reply given by Apple on March 2 "does not answer" some of the questions they had asked about what privileges apps have over photos and tracking. Apple was asked to provide representatives who would brief staff on the committee about Apple's efforts.
Congressman Ed Markey, known for criticizing Carrier IQ and the carriers that support it, has now proposed a draft bill (PDF) that aims to protect the privacy of cellphone users. The Mobile Device Privacy Act would order companies to publicly disclose whether they are using tracking software such as Carrier IQ, according to a Monday report found in the The Hill. It would also require them to reveal what information is collected and give users a consent option.
Sprint has confirmed that it is set to release over-the-air updates for Samsung's Epic 4G handset and HTC's Evo 4G and Evo Design 4G models. The updates primarily focus on removing Carrier IQ's controversial tracking software, though the company suggests it has also "bundled up a few other fixes."
On the heels of a discovery that an update to the Evo 3D pulled Carrier IQ, HTC has confirmed in a statement that all of its Android phones on Sprint will have the controversial diagnostic tool removed. It promised The Verge "maintenance releases" starting this month that would drop Carrier IQ at the same time as they provided security fixes and overall updates. How long it would take to update every phone wasn't mentioned.
A recent update for the HTC Evo 3D handset has removed the controversial Carrier IQ software, users over on the Android Central forum have found. The update was expected, and backs Sprint's earlier statement that it will back off from actively using the app. The HTC IQAgent and IQRD apps are now showing up as 0KB in the Manage Applications screen.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has released a call to action this week that prompts users to check which Carrier IQ profile is preloaded onto their smartphones. It wants to collect all the different profiles of Carrier IQ in the field and is asking users who find it on their phones to send them a copy. Other than the copy, they need to know which phone and network it was from and where on the phone's file system it resided.
After speaking with Carrier IQ and its customers, including carriers and handaset makers, Senator Al Franken has reportedly concluded that the central issues relate to awareness and control. In an interview with The Verge, the Minnesota senator suggests consumers should be informed of what information is being gathered from their cellphones.
Sprint in a statement Friday said the carrier had stopped collecting Carrier IQ data from phones. Representative Stephanie Vinge-Walsh explained to Android Central that the software was still in place, but the company had stopped picking up cellular data. She drew a direct link between public reaction and the move, noting that the carrier had "weighed customer concerns" before making the switch.
Following a formal petition from Senator Al Franken to handset makers and carriers in early December regarding their use of the Carrier IQ tracking app, AT&T, HTC, Samsung and Sprint have all submitted responses. Franken had written to the companies concerned that the Carrier IQ software pre-loaded on certain phones was a threat to user privacy. Although each party offered up a range of responses to the 13 questions Franken had asked, Franken still had a number of concerns arising out of the information he was provided.
Canadian BlackBerry smartphone maker RIM maintains it never gave carriers permission to install Carrier IQ software on its devices and has now detailed how users can get rid of it. T-Mobile installs the software on three BlackBerry handsets, including the Bold 9900, the Curve 9360 and the Torch 9810. Users need to download an app called IQ Agent, which will also detect and remove other third-party apps.
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Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram has formally announced that it will roll out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in it's iOS app with an update that will bring the program to version 7.1.5. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app, and some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes Power Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ
View-Master VR device in Apple Store
Apple has started to sell a Google Cardboard-style VR headset modeled on a classic Mattel toy. Initially launched early last year, the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack for $30 is designed to use an iPhone as a display, with a Preview Reel and lever system mimicking the toy's switching between images to take users between different VR apps and scenes. http://bit.ly/1RhJW8y