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Phone manufacturers face Carrier IQ case

06 Dec 2011

Phone manufacturers Apple, Samsung, Motorola and HTC have been targeted alongside US network providers T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T in a class action complaint related to software that allegedly violates users’ privacy rights.

The lawsuit, lodged in a Federal Court in Wilmington, Delaware, alleges the carriers and manufacturers ‘were caught wilfully violating customers’ privacy rights’.

"A technology blogger in Connecticut discovered last month that software designed and sold by California-based Carrier IQ, Inc. was secretly tracking personal and sensitive information of the cell phone users,” a release from the law firm reads, "without the consent or knowledge of the users.”

Carrier IQ provides tracking tools to phone vendors and network providers, and can be found on most Android and iOS devices. Apple has stated that it hasn’t used Carrier IQ since it released iOS 5, and will remove it entirely from its products in a future update. 

For its part, Carrier IQ has issued a statement assuring users its software ‘does not record, store or transmit the contents of SMS messages, emails, photographs, audio or video’.

"For example, we understand whether an SMS was sent accurately, but do not record or transmit the content of the SMS. We know which applications are draining your battery, but do not capture the screen.

"Carrier IQ is aware of various commentators alleging Carrier IQ has violated wiretap laws and we vigorously disagree with these assertions.”