Senator Al Franken Demands Answers From Carriers, Phone Makers About Carrier IQ Use
Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, who happens to head the Senate Security Panel, continues to hold no punches in his effort to get to the bottom of the Carrier IQ debacle.
Franken sent a letter to Carrier IQ earlier in the week asking Carrier IQ to specifically state what data are logged, what data are transmitted and whether or not they believe they operate in accordance with federal privacy laws forbidding wiretapping. Franken has now sent a similar letter to HTC, Samsung, AT&T, and Sprint Nextel.
In the letter Franken asks the companies to disclose how they’re using Carrier IQ and precisely what data they are collecting. The companies have till December 14 to reply. None of the companies are legally bound to reply, but it is customary to do so. Sprint and AT&T are the only companies to acknowledge they currently use Carrier IQ to improve network stability and improve the customer experience, but they maintain they do not log any photos, messages, or other personal content on the phone. RIM has outright denied they use the software, and so has Verizon. HTC claims a number of carriers require the Carrier IQ software be installed on handsets working on their networks.
No matter the response, it appears carriers and manufacturers alike are attempting to distance themselves from Carrier IQ. Apple has already stated they no longer use Carrier IQ and all instances of the software will be removed via an update soon. Still, that hasn't prevented Apple from being the subject of a Carrier IQ class action lawsui
t filed yesterday. Hopefully Senator Frankens inquiries will bring some answers to the privacy questions every cell phone owner has the right to know.