Carrier IQ controversy heats up

California-based Carrier IQ has found itself in the news just about every day for the past several days, but the news has been far from what the company could consider good publicity.

Reports have been coming in that Carrier IQ’s software, which is installed on over 140,000 million devices from a variety of providers including AT&T and Sprint, transmits private data regardless of whether or not the user consents to it or not.

The concern was brought to light by system administrator Trevor Eckhart in October. Eckhart alleged that Carrier IQ, which is found on nearly all Android devices and several iOS devices, acts at least in part as a keylogger, logging every input and potentially sending it back to Carrier IQ’s servers.

Eckhart recently followed up on his findings, publishing a video that goes into further detail on what Carrier IQ is, how to find it and the potentially malicious capabilities it has.

Carrier IQ has since released a statement denying that their software records key inputs. The company says the software’s sole purpose is to collect information to help mobile manufacturers improve their products, and that no private data is ever sent to the company’s servers in that process.

In spite of Carrier IQ’s quick denial that their software violates users’ privacy, the news has started to catch the attention of lawmakers in Washington. Reuters reports that US Representative Edward Markey asked the FTC to launch an investigation into whether or not Carrier IQ’s software violates users’ privacy rights.

“Consumers and families need to understand who is siphoning off and storing their personal information every time they use their smart phone,” Markey said in a statement.

See below for Eckhart’s latest video.