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CarrierIQ software is installed on roughly 150,000,000 mobile phones. It is supposed to “enhance the user experience” of these devices.

However, Android developer, Trevor Eckhart has alleged that it can log an array of activities, including text message content. In addition to being difficult to detect, Eckhart found that CarrierIQ could not be uninstalled, as shown in the video linked below. (He and other developers have since created apps to remove the software).

CarrierIQ has become the subject of a Federal probe to investigate whether it is violating Federal wiretapping laws.

Apple has promised to have it completely removed in the next software update. Sprint has disabled CarrierIQ on its phones but without scrapping altogether – it could still be reactivated.

In an industry where the protection of intellectual property is paramount, it seems that so much of this controversy could have been avoided with a simple opt-in policy. The defendants of these cases will doubtlessly argue that user consent was implied in the terms of service agreements…

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Alexandra Bruce

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