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CarrierIQ Denies It Violated Wiretap Laws, Defends Product


carrierIQ trevor eckhart

When news of CarrierIQ’s possibly extensive data-collecting habits began to circulate, consumer reaction was swift- and legal experts opined that the actions could not possibly be in line with federal wiretapping laws.

CarrierIQ initially attempted to remove 25-year-old Trevor Eckhart’s lengthy YouTube videos from the service, sending a cease and desist letter to the systems administrator before the Electronic Frontier Foundation stepped up and intervened. After a second, seemingly damning video hit YouTube, the analytics firm released a statement insisting its actions did not fall afoul of federal law. CarrierIQ said:

“While a few individuals have identified that there is a great deal of information available to the Carrier IQ software inside the handset, our software does not record, store or transmit the contents of SMS messages, email, 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.”

The press release from CarrierIQ goes on to quote “respected security expert” Rebecca Bace, who says she is of the “opinion that allegations of keystroke collection or other surveillance of mobile device user’s content are erroneous.” CarrierIQ continues:

Privacy is protected… Our software makes your phone better by delivering intelligence on the performance of mobile devices and networks to help the Operators provide optimal service efficiency.

Minnesota Democratic Senator Al Franken joined the growing backlash, writing a letter to CarrierIQ’s CEO demanding some transparency on the matter. In a statement, Sen. Franken said:

“Consumers need to know that their safety and privacy are being protected by the companies they trust with their sensitive information. The revelation that the locations and other sensitive data of millions of Americans are being secretly recorded and possibly transmitted is deeply troubling.”

Does CarrierIQ’s statement do anything to quell your concerns about the allegations of extensive tracking?