Carrier IQ RantBy: Zanpakutou posted at Dec 04, 2011 7:50 pm
So it just hit the news recently that many smartphones have something known as Carrier IQ in them. It turns out that it records everything that you do with your phone including who you called, what you sent in a text, and even any passwords and credit card information that you may have used through the phone. The cell phone service provider can determine exactly how much information is collected, but in most cases, you might as well just take everything. The purpose is primarily to see what their consumers are interested in and most likely tailor ads that would interest that specific person. Facebook already does this by suggesting friends and pages. YouTube does it by recommending you channels based on what you have watched. While it does help them tailor their services to your needs, at what point is it too much?
Now for my rant. I understand the desire to collect consumer information because it is extremely valuable for advertising, but was it really necessary for it to log everything that someone does? I am pretty sure that people do not take kindly to keyloggers. If people want something specific on their phones, I am sure there's an app for that and you can just download and install. When people say no to submitting information about themselves to their service provider, it should not be collecting any information at all. It is like when you read through the terms of service after installing a game and everything the company said was a lie and they can just do whatever they want. Usually these hidden features can be exploited and you do not even know it.
While Carrier IQ is denying responsibility by saying that it is up to the cell phone carrier to determine how much information is collected, they should have really made it so that the information being collected at least reflects the choices made by the phone's user. It should not be sending out information that the user has has not permitted. On top of it, they do not even let you know it is running like many other root kits. It should show up and at least tell you that it is on rather than hiding it. The fact that it is hidden rather than showing up in the processes section makes it that much more suspicious. It is true that the service providers might not be recording the information, but in this day and age how can you really be sure? If it is being sent out, it means that something can be made to receive it. At any point they can just set up something to start recording that information. it certainly cannot be that hard.
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