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New class action law suit against Carrier IQ adds Apple, Motorola and some carriers as defendants

Posted: , by Alan F.

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New class action law suit against Carrier IQ adds Apple, Motorola and some carriers as defendants
Carrier IQ is the best thing that has happened to the legal profession since Apple accused Samsung of copying its designs in producing the Galaxy line of devices, While just the other day a class action suit  accused Carrier IQ, HTC and Samsung with violating the Federal Wiretap Act, none of the carriers was included in the fist class action involving the use of Carrier IQ's analytics software. That has now changed.

A new class action suit has just been filed in a federal court in Wilmington by a trio of law firms, two of which are from Jersey (Keefe Bartels and Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy) and one from Wilmington (Sianni & Straite, hoping to get the home COURT advantage). This time the defendants include AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint as well as Apple and Motorola. HTC and Samsung are both included in this suit although Carrier IQ is ironically excluded. The seven are accused of violating the Federal Wiretap Act, the Stored Electronic Communications Act, and the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The suit adds that the companies named in the suit were caught violating customers privacy rights in "direct violation of federal law."  AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint have admitted to using the software but says that its use complies with privacy policies.

As we know now, tracking software from Carrier IQ was tracking sensitive personal data belonging to cell phone users, without their permission. Just as recently as November 30th, the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary sent a letter to Carrier IQ warning them that these actions could be considered a violation of federal security laws and could be a very serious matter. While some reports say that T-Mobile has been adding Carrier IQ to some of its phones without the approval of manufacturers, Carrier IQ and Google have placed the blame on phone makers and carriers.

source: electronista

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posted on 05 Dec 2011, 14:41 6

1. Sniggly (Posts: 6695; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Well that's weird, because I haven't heard of a single instance of Motorola's phones having CIQ. I've been running Voodoo on my Atrix and it keeps saying my phone is clean. I still think the carriers have the most blame here instead of the manufacturers, and yes, I mean Apple too.

posted on 05 Dec 2011, 15:15 1

3. networkdood (Posts: 6244; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


yep, same on droid razr and captivate - all clean. Just go through the code...line by line...lol

posted on 05 Dec 2011, 15:55 1

5. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5523; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Agree with the carriers being the the ones primarily at fault. If a manufacturer shipped a handset with Carrier IQ installed when the handset left the manufacturing facility, or was installed with a later software update, then the manufacturer should also be on the hook.

In the U.S. at least, it still takes a warrant for a wire-tap. The only way to stop warrantless wire-tapping is to make the offenders pay and pay big time.

posted on 05 Dec 2011, 17:02

7. terabyteRouser (Posts: 412; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


I do recall that on the latest Droid 3 and Bionic, that if you used the email feature or adding a Facebook account on the phone (not the app) it made you consent to sharing your personal data. You can check it out.

posted on 05 Dec 2011, 20:14

11. Tatperson (Posts: 58; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)


My ATRIX definitely doesn't have CIQ. Used Lookout Labs' carrier IQ detector.

posted on 05 Dec 2011, 14:51 1

2. Mojobobo (Posts: 12; Member since: 04 Nov 2011)


I can only guess their first thought was that they wanted to give their customers a better experience by knowing about certain issues, thus having Carrier IQ develop this software, only to have it mutated somewhere along the way :-?

posted on 05 Dec 2011, 15:49 2

4. jellytime (Posts: 135; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


This is why i bought a sony ericsson. They actually know, cares and listen to what the customers want. and they didn´t get any lawsuits.

posted on 05 Dec 2011, 16:50 2

6. GeekMovement (Posts: 1499; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


Google blames phone makers and carriers? What's wrong with you?! The only one to blame is Carrier IQ itself for existing in the first place, let's all get rid of it and live the rest of our happy lives already.

posted on 05 Dec 2011, 19:13

9. mctcm (Posts: 204; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


CarrierIQ exists to fill demand. blame is correctly placed on manufacturers and carriers

posted on 05 Dec 2011, 17:49 3

8. Gawain (Posts: 341; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)


Has everyone forgotten previous reports that carriers already store user data for periods of time (texts, phone calls - billing) etc?

There is one group that benefits from bullsh!t class-action lawsuits and one group only: the lawyers that are party to the suit.

There is no grand scheme here to log, store and data-mine every keystroke you make when you send smoochies to your girlfriend or boyfriend. You think CarrierIQ is out of control? Well thank goodness you haven't seen the depth of the algorithms that Google uses in its analytics - which touch just about every web-site you have ever been to. Yahoo, Apple, Microsoft all do the same thing.

Why do you care if CIQ logs a dropped call on main street at 4pm on a Motorola Atrix2 running on AT&T? They aren't reporting, "Johnny was talking dirty to his girlfriend at 4pm, just about to get steamy when the call dropped as he turned on main street." The carrier already has a log you were there (ESN, SID - done) - it doesn't matter that they may/may not have been tracking detailed activity. "We know where you've been and where you went."

Now, for all of you that are a part of the "class" in the suit, get ready for the settlement notice in the mail. While the lawyers pocket millions of dollars, you'll be getting a settlement coupon for $5 worth of day-old sushi across town...

posted on 06 Dec 2011, 00:47

12. Forsaken77 (Posts: 545; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)


It's the principle. If they don't get stopped with mild invasion, then it's only a matter of time until they try to take sensitive stuff. But I do agree that these large class action suits don't benefit the people at all. The carrier may give you a free month if you have the receipt that you bought the invasive phone from them 2 years ago.

posted on 06 Dec 2011, 12:18

14. Gawain (Posts: 341; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)


There's no principle here. I bet if you read the ToS of the three main carriers that use CarrierIQ service, it mentions in broad terms that they may monitor usage in an effort to gauge performance or offer better services. Pretty much sums it up. The only way to avoid "the grid" is to get off "the grid" 100%...

posted on 05 Dec 2011, 19:58

10. mctcm (Posts: 204; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


@Gawain: Indifference like yours is why ethical violations run rampant. Congrats, you have s**t yourself again

posted on 06 Dec 2011, 12:15

13. Gawain (Posts: 341; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)


It's not indifference. It's pragmatism. You're all mad at CarrierIQ, but the web is mum when it comes to the heavy hitters like Google, Yahoo!, and Apple (that are visible) and the literally hundreds of tracking site that do who-knows-what with your browsing data (which is accessible due to how browsers are programed, yes, including Firefox). Right now on PhoneArena there are at least 10 tracking cookie elements present, including Facebook Connect, NetShelter, Quantcast, and the all time favorites like Google Analytics, AdSense and DoubleClick. These services know more about you through browsing habits than any telemetry on a cell phone.

CarrierIQ offered a service which three of the four major carriers opted to use. Aside from general paranoia, there is no reason to suspect that anything nefarious is being done with the telemetry that is being used by the carriers.

I won't even explain Facebook...

The "good" guys get a pass somehow, Facebook with its 700M+ users, Google, Yahoo!, iPhone/iPad/iPod (and all that tracking that was exposed last year)...all flash in the pans that everyone sort of shrugged at. But CarrierIQ is an evil money grubbing enterprise out to find out how many pictures of Justin Bieber you sent to your friends? ... ... ...

Now, a class action lawsuit will fix all this how? Oh yeah, it won't do a damn thing.

What's worse, is you think this is some ethical violation. There's nothing unethical here. You want unethical, go to the UK where News of the World hacked in to people's voicemails.

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