Weeks after Carrier IQ software was discovered to be running on about 150 million smartphones, apparently spying on the users without their knowledge, a federal investigation into the program is underway.
Executives from Carrier IQ, which is based in Silicon Valley, reportedly ventured to Washington on Tuesday and met with officials from the Federal Trade Commission, as well as officials from the Federal Communications Commission.
While an FTC spokeswoman said she could neither confirm nor deny whether the agency was investigating Carrier IQ, the FTC inquiry was confirmed by officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. A spokesman for the software company also stated that Carrier IQ executives were cooperating with federal agencies.
Carrier IQ has declared that its software was not designed to capture keystrokes or the content of messages, rather the data is intended to improve the user experience with smartphones. While Verizon is the only carrier of the nation’s four major cellular providers to deny that the program is on any of the company’s mobile devices, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have all confirmed that Carrier IQ is featured on some of their phones. With a new app, Android users can detect if Carrier IQ is present on their device, but the app cannot remove the program. Apple has said it will remove the software from iPhones in a future software update.
The controversial spyware was discovered a few weeks ago when security researcher Trevor Eckhart posted a video on YouTube displaying his findings.
Source: Washington Post