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Carrier IQ and the US' Escalating Privacy Risk Level
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Joined: 24 Feb 2005
Posts: 12601
Location: Texas

Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:50 pm    Post subject: Carrier IQ and the US' Escalating Privacy Risk Level  

Each day, more is coming out about what Carrier IQ actually collects. Even if the actual threat level is determined to be not as high as initially thought, it still may be alarming to the millions of smartphone consumers who unwittingly provide data about their personal phone usage and Internet activities without their consent or knowledge.

It seems that every day a new crisis hits the news about our privacy, but not many news stories are as astonishing as the recent revelation by a 25-year-old researcher about the Carrier IQ software that is installed on most modern Android, BlackBerry and Nokia (NYSE: NOK) phones. Carrier IQ software collects massive data from these devices, then "correlates and aggregates the data for near real-time system monitoring and business intelligence" for phone operators and manufacturers, ostensibly to improve their services.

Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., co-chair of the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus, sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking what was being done to investigate.

The Carrier IQ technology "secretly installed on millions of mobile phones tracks nearly every keystroke users make and then sends the data back to the software company," Markey told FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. He requested that the FTC respond to his inquiry by Dec. 20.

Markey's letter isn't the only missive from a concerned member of Congress. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., chairman of the Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, sent his own letter to Carrier IQ, which included the following:

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