Carrier IQ Responds with Claim its Software Only Monitors Service Messages

  • Earlier this week, ETCentric featured a PC World article that claimed “an app called Carrier IQ is logging literally everything you are doing on your smartphone including keystrokes, SMS messages and HTTPS sessions.”
  • The network diagnostic tool maker has since told AllThingsD it does not log or understand keystrokes but only monitors them looking for a specific code that support technicians use to cue appropriate diagnostic information.
  • CIQ also noted that it does not read SMS messages or content associated with website URLs even though it can see messages come in or capture URLs.
  • “Okay. Then what information is being captured and passed along to the carriers who use Carrier IQ?” asks AllThingsD. “Data related to call quality, battery life, device crashes — everything you’d expect, really.”
  • Andrew Coward of Carrier IQ explains, “If there’s a dropped call, the carriers want to know about it. So we record where you were when the call dropped and the location of the tower being used… Similarly, if you send an SMS to me and it doesn’t go through, the carriers want to know that, too. And they want to know why — if it’s a problem with your handset or the network.”
  • According to a related Ars Technica article, Apple has issued a statement hoping to curb fears about tracking via the iPhone and iPad: “We stopped supporting Carrier IQ [a piece of software that tracks user activity] with iOS 5 in most of our products, and we’re going to remove it completely in a future software update.”