New Bill Would Require Carriers To Disclose Tracking Software In Phones
Some recent controversy in the area of smartphones, is the whole Carrier IQ debacle. Essentially, it’s in many phones and tracks user behavior and sends that data away to be analyzed.
This has lead to numerous reports of a breach of privacy and wireless carriers received some flack for it. A new bill that’s currently before Congress, would require cell phone carriers to disclose tracking software that’s in phones. This is a step forward in transparency and letting customers know what is pre-installed on their phones.
“While consumers rely on their phones, their phones relay all sorts of information about them, often without their knowledge or consent,” reads a statement from Rep. Markey’s office today. “I am concerned about the threat to consumers’ privacy posed by electronic monitoring software on mobile phones, such as the software developed by Carrier IQ.”
“Carriers (or parties to the sale of a phone) failing to make this disclosure to customers, under Rep. Markey’s proposed provisions, could find themselves prosecuted for deception and/or unfair trade practices.”
“But that might not be the stickiest part of this bill. Under Rep. Markey’s proposal, once the customer consented to the monitoring software doing its job, the carrier (or other point of sale) would become responsible for maintaining a secure database of the identities of those who consented. Such a database could conceivably be used to retrieve data about the phones being monitored.”
How do you feel about carriers tracking behavior on your phone? Is it a breach of privacy and trust?