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  • German Regulators Take Aim at Apple Over Carrier IQ


    German regulators have some pretty serious questions for Apple to answer.

    Despite Apple's public declaration that it has "stopped supporting Carrier IQ with iOS 5 in most of our products and will remove it completely in a future software update," the tech giant can't seem to escape its ties to Carrier IQ.

    The Carrier IQ software in question is what's known as a rootkit that is installed at a carrier’s request on mobile phones. If you're unfamiliar with this particular entity, it's sufficient to say that Carrier IQ raises user privacy concerns because it runs in the background and monitors and logs user activity. AT&T and Sprint - two iPhone carriers in the U.S. - claim the software and its collected data are only used as a means to "improve service performance."

    Carrier IQ is believed to have its data tracking paws on more than 140 million devices around the world.

    Consequently, the Bavarian State Authority for Data Protection sent a letter to Apple Friday requesting that the company provide specific information about Carrier IQ and Apple's use of any collected data. “We read in the press about the privacy concerns the software may pose and decided to ask Apple about the details,” Thomas Kranig of the German regulatory body told Bloomberg. “If Apple decided to cease the use, all the better.”

    As MMi reported Thursday, Apple issued a formal statement yesterday clarifying its relationship with the spyware company:

    We stopped supporting Carrier IQ with iOS 5 in most of our products and will remove it completely in a future software update. With any diagnostic data sent to Apple, customers must actively opt-in to share this information, and if they do, the data is sent in an anonymous and encrypted form and does not include any personal information. We never recorded keystrokes, messages or any other personal information for diagnostic data and have no plans to ever do so.
    Source: Bloomberg
    This article was originally published in forum thread: German Regulators Take Aim at Apple over Carrier IQ started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. GmAz's Avatar
      GmAz -
      Lets face it, government officials use iOS devices and have been for a while. I'd want to know what data has been sent since the beginning. yay, iOS doesn't have it...in most devices (like to know which ones still have it too FYI) but what about iOS4 and 3 and before. Also, for Android, the carrier can modify the system themselves but for iOS, Apple is the one doing it directly for them.
    1. Rokesomesmeefer's Avatar
      Rokesomesmeefer -
      Queue the "Obama's Blackberry" jokes in 3... 2... 1...
    1. perealb's Avatar
      perealb -
      Such a biased and misinformed article - not only from the German authorities but also from the writer of this article. The German authorities get all pissy over Apple about it but Android based phones have always had CIQ. The writer also failed to point this out in a manner that put both iOS and Android device manufacturers (and others) guilty of the same privacy infringements.
    1. Mp3Supply's Avatar
      Mp3Supply -
      The previously written articles today/yest addressed how CIQ is found on android, Symbian, blackberry devices and others. The author isnt singling out apple. I find it helpful the author didn't repeat the same information as previous articles.

      The Germans just want to pick on apple and I hope they sent the same self addressed letters to the service providers.
    1. SRPrentice's Avatar
      SRPrentice -
      Quote Originally Posted by perealb View Post
      Such a biased and misinformed article - not only from the German authorities but also from the writer of this article. The German authorities get all pissy over Apple about it but Android based phones have always had CIQ. The writer also failed to point this out in a manner that put both iOS and Android device manufacturers (and others) guilty of the same privacy infringements.
      Have you not seen the many other articles about this rootkit being on Android devices? The dead horse has been beaten already. This is news. It has new information. This news does not pertain to Android as of yet. Want the author to also write about how the Samsung Galaxy Tab is allowed in Australia again? No, because it is not related to this story.

      All people do is complain anymore. Read the news and be happy you learned a new piece of information. If it is false, then complain.
    1. epikarus's Avatar
      epikarus -
      Quote Originally Posted by perealb View Post
      Such a biased and misinformed article - not only from the German authorities but also from the writer of this article. The German authorities get all pissy over Apple about it but Android based phones have always had CIQ. The writer also failed to point this out in a manner that put both iOS and Android device manufacturers (and others) guilty of the same privacy infringements.
      The Android OS does not come with this software. If you compare the number of Android phones that have CIQ on it to the number of iPhones around the world that was loaded with CIQ by Apple themselves, I would estimate that there are a lot more iPhones with this software on it then the Android phones on Sprint and several other carriers. You cant go after Google cause Google didnt put this software into the phones, if they did then my android phone would have this too, but I dont. Its the cell phone carriers that put this software into the Android phones.

      In any case this practice is ridiculous. How are they going to get everyone to remove this software. There are those that are less able to update their phones and would forever be spied upon. Even if Apple releases an new iOS without CIQ there will be those that cannot update or don't know how to update. I'm glad Rogers, Bell and Telus (here in Canada) have stated that none of their phones have carrier IQ on them, but it makes me wonder if similar software by another name resides in them. I wish the Americans good luck with this so scumbags that profit from exploiting peoples personal information will suffer.
    1. jOnGarrett's Avatar
      jOnGarrett -
      The US Government should investigate ALL carriers and manufacturers to see exactly what's going on. Most manufacturers are claiming innocence but Id say they're all guilty until proven otherwise. And what about the US Dept of Defense and their use of iOS and Android devices !!!! NOBODY, I mean NOBODY has a right to eavesdrop on Military Communications.
    1. LGgeek's Avatar
      LGgeek -
      Since many of us are not on IOS 5 yet ( waiting on untethered JB) is there anything available via Cydia or ? that we could use to block this ?
    1. Crosseyes's Avatar
      Crosseyes -
      For the first time, I'm actually siding with Apple on an issue over privacy. These people need to go after Carrier IQ itself and the CARRIERS that insist on supporting it. The fault does not lie with the phone manufacturers, and if it did, HTC, Samsung, Motorola, and others would be in the wrong much, MUCH more than Apple. For once, leave Apple alone.
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      We stopped supporting Carrier IQ with iOS 5 in most of our products (Probably just the iPod Touch) and will remove it completely in a future software update (Now that it's been discovered). With any diagnostic data sent to Apple, customers must actively opt-in to share this information, and if they do, the data is sent in an anonymous and encrypted form and does not include any personal information. We never recorded keystrokes, messages or any other personal information for diagnostic data and have no plans to ever do so.
      Apple wouldn't have taken any action with CarrierIQ if it hadn't been discovered.