David Kravets of Wired:
Though the software is installed on most modern Android, BlackBerry and Nokia phones, Carrier IQ was virtually unknown until 25-year-old Trevor Eckhart of Connecticut analyzed its workings, revealing that the software secretly chronicles a user’s phone experience — ostensibly so carriers and phone manufacturers can do quality control.
But now he’s released a video actually showing the logging of text messages, encrypted web searches and, well, you name it.
Wow. This is pretty crazy stuff. Nobody is going to like the thought of all their calls, emails, texts, et cetera all being logged and recorded.
For the sake of clarity, it’s worth stressing a few things:
1) The issue is confirmed in the US; it’s not yet know what the situation is here in the UK.
2) It isn’t Google (in the case of Android) behind this, it’s something added by phone carriers.
3) There are some traces of Carrier IQ software on iPhones but a) they don’t grab the same sensitive information and b) there is full opt out.
It is also worth emphasising that if this was something that was happening on Apple products, there would be WAY more coverage of the issue. When you think of the amount of coverage there was when a bug was tracking the location of WiFi towers near where you went with you iPhone, it says a lot about how the media loves stories that are down on Apple and don’t give balanced coverage of negatives with other companies.
John Gruber has been following the story closely and has a string of posts with links to further information that are worth looking at if you’re interested in this story: