Privacy rights trampled

Story: BUSTED! Secret app on millions of phones logs key tapsTotal Replies: 6
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Dec 01, 2011
12:45 PM EDT
Now we appear to have documented evidence showing blatant violations of user's privacy rights in Android as well as Apple iOS phones. The perpetrator, Carrier IQ, admits on their own website that they have infected over 141 million phones!

If Carrier IQ, the mobile carriers, and the handset manufacturers do not take steps to stop this, I predict that we will see a strong call for a government crackdown on this practise.

Dec 01, 2011
2:49 PM EDT
Gotta love those "smart" phones because they sure are at keeping track of

Dec 01, 2011
2:54 PM EDT

Like the crackdown on over the web piracy?!?! SOPA?!?! Protect IP?!?! Please realize what era you are in first... if it isn't bought and paid for by corporate interests, it ain't happening ...


Dec 01, 2011
3:32 PM EDT
@JaseP - I hear you, but I came up through an era when people's voice did matter, and I still believe that it can matter, but we need to make our voice heard, especially at this important time when the future norms are being established. I don't know about you, but I don't like the idea of living in a world where our privacy rights are trampled. We can do better than this.

It also seems to me that when 141 million people worldwide have had their privacy rights violated, that maybe the voice this time can be loud.

Dec 01, 2011
8:31 PM EDT
I found this Forbes article that predicts an expensive class action lawsuit might be coming out of this.

The article quotes a former Justice Department prosecutor as saying “In the next days or weeks, someone will sue, and then this company is tangled up in very expensive litigation. It’s almost certain.”

It is refreshing to see the heat getting turned up around the protection of our digital privacy rights.

Dec 02, 2011
12:57 AM EDT
Carrier IQ said that carriers are the ones that impose the software onto the devices, not the device makers. There is the Carrier IQ guys, then who is getting all those datas (the carriers, and god knows who else). Some carriers admit they include the software, some don't:,2817,2397128,00.asp

As for Google, they admit that they don't include Carrier IQ in their Nexus devices. (Which is good so I can buy the Google Nexus right away when the Canadian version is released which includes microSD slot, where as the international version don't.)

So I'm not sure how a trial can be made out of this. Probably the company behind Carrier IQ taking the hit, and the other parties getting away with it, then later find out new ways to spy on you using their own apps.

The truth is even without this Carrier IQ software, Google themselves gets a fair amount of data on you. If you type keywords onto the address field of Android's Brower or type in Google searchbox in your desktop browser, even if you erased the letter that you typed, WireShark shows that the info has been sent to Google.

This confirmed one thing for me though: Before knowing what Carrier IQ is, I refused to buy HTC devices knowing Microsoft takes too much royalties from it and the suspicion that HTC includes too much data mining in their software. The key difference here is with HTC devices, they purposely clean out the interface of Carrier IQ so you can't even recognize or control it. And that Android is really not secure, however, because of its mildly openness you still gets to find out something, whereas with Apple you might not know what other horrible things they are doing. This is great for Microsoft, no one will be bother them this time, their data mining is built in I bet.

Users only have two choice here: Either use smartphones and accept lost of privacy or not use it. I install custom kernel, apps like "AdFree" and "LBE Privacy Guard", and if the phone would support OpenVPN that too, but these deterrent are in vain. Until the mass gets more educated and protest against this, in other word, this is the norm now, accept it, you don't have a choice.

In other news, Hungary banned homelessness:

Dec 02, 2011
8:28 AM EDT
@tmx: You make some good points, but I think there is another choice that we have.

Root your phone, and don't apologize for doing it.

I have an HTC EVO 3D phone which I have rooted. Since this android phone is based on a Linux kernel, it is possible, though not easy, for a user like myself to take control of it personally. I've installed optware on it so I have ssh/sshd and tcpdump available with the ability to do packet monitoring/logging (and remote administration) so I can see precisely which apps are calling home and which are not and take action to kill or remove bad apps.

For years now, we in the Linux community have taken personal responsibility for securing our desktops and servers. We must now apply those same principles to securing our mobile devices as well. Let's not get into the mindset of the microsoft users who are powerless to do anything other than installing some third party "virus scanner" or security app. We are better than that.

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