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.