Hidden Tracking Software on Mobile Devices
Today I sent a letter to Carrier IQ, a California software company, concerning research by a Connecticut resident and multiple news reports that the company’s software – installed on numerous mobile devices–is monitoring and logging user’s keystrokes, text messages, web history, and location without the user’s consent or knowledge. It is unclear how pervasive this technology is, but reports indicate that the software is secretly installed on numerous models of cellphones on several different carriers, and my letter requests more information on which phones and carriers use this software. This practice is an enormous invasion of consumer privacy. It may also violate several laws, including the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
When a company exploits its customers, it needs to answer for its actions. Instead, Carrier IQ has tried to silence and stifle these valid criticisms with threats of frivolous lawsuits. Only after the Connecticut resident retained representation by the Electronic Frontier Foundation did Carrier IQ cease their threats and publicly apologize. This is a blatant abuse of corporate power and the legal system, as well as a threat to consumers’ privacy.
This behavior is unconscionable and reprehensible – I look forward to examining these allegations further and taking steps to protect against abuses of personal information.