Carrier IQ Lawsuits Grow

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Carrier IQ, smartphone manufacturers and networks are sued over phone tracking:

We have already covered the news that Carrier IQ was potentially tracking over 140,000,000 mobile devices at the end of last week.

Carrier IQ Sees Class Actions Brought Against Them In Delaware Court
Carrier IQ Sees Class Actions Brought Against Them In Delaware Court

Now, when you hear the name Carrier IQ, you automatically think of potentially illegal phone tracking, so it is also interesting to see just how quickly the legal teams gather pace when the mention of a breach of privacy is muted.

A number of law firms are gunning for carrier IQ and companies who used their technology:

The following law firms have jointly filed a class action complaint in a Delaware Court against carrier IQ:

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy LLP, Sianni & Straite LLP, and Keefe Bartels L.L.C.

This relates to what is being described as:

“cell phone tracking software scandal.”

and an,

“unprecedented breach of the digital privacy rights of 150 million cell phone users.”

It is reported that HTC, AT&T, Motorola, Apple, Sprint, T-Mobile and more are also going to be hearing from the law firms mentioned above in relation to the potential abuse of privacy of smartphone owners globally.

Carrier IQ sounds ostensibly good natured:

The problem as I see it with carrier IQ is that to all intents and purposes it masquerades as a perfectly safe and capable tracking software that is intended to aid manufacturers find bugs and issues with their devices and networks, and so make the users life more pleasurable, and pain free.

The problem is that this software is installed discretely without the device owner having any knowledge, and there is no opt in or out option when you get your new device.

The company sell the software as:

“Mobile Service Intelligence solutions that have revolutionized the way mobile operators and device vendors gather and manage information from end users”

Sounds all well and good, but surely personal privacy is a highly valued right in our society.

Personal privacy the issue for most:

Many people in the US and wider feel that governments and corporations are taking more and more liberties with our own personal information. And while we hope that the concern is only that, a real issue presents itself when something so covert as tracking software is installed on your personal communication device.

The issue is about full transparency, as there is also a theory that keystrokes are included in the data that gets reported (if a patent application is anything to go by), though it has to be said that I am becoming less convinced that this was the case currently (perhaps this was due to be rolled out later)….

At which point, I wonder when we would have been informed of this?

My guess is never.

David Straite, one of the lawyers leading this crusade, said in a statement.

“This latest revelation of corporate America’s brazen disregard for the digital privacy rights of its customers is yet another example of the escalating erosion of liberty in this country,”

David Straite’s co-counsel Steve Grygiel added:

”Anyone who cares at all about their personal privacy, or the broader constitutional right to privacy, ought to care and care a great deal about this case.”

What do you think to this news?

Is it getting blown out of proportion? Or is this kind of privacy invasion best nipped in the bud early before we hand over too much control blindly to the “powers that be”?

Anthony Munns