An Android developer recently discovered a clandestine application called Carrier IQ built into most smartphones that doesn't just track your location; it secretly records your keystrokes, and there's nothing you can do about it. Is it time to put on a tinfoil hat? That depends on how you feel about privacy.
...and unless you were code-savvy and looking for it, you'd never know it was there. And based on how aggressive the company has been in trying to keep Eckhart quiet about his discovery, it seems like Carrier IQ doesn't want you to know it's there either. Eckhart first raised a red flag about Carrier IQ about two weeks ago when he started investigating reports that a software update on the HTC EVO 3D included "user behavior logging" code. The code had worried some geek bloggers when it showed up a couple months ago, but HTC and Sprint insisted that it wasn't much different than normal error-logging software and certainly didn't gather granular data like "contents of messages, photos, videos, etc." Eckhart wrote an exhaustive blog post about his startling findings -- CarrierIQ collected lots data, including keystrokes, and there way for the user to opt out "without advanced knowledge" -- and CarrierIQ flipped out. The company sent Eckhart a cease-and-desist letter demanding that he keep his mouth shut and threatening legal action. But after the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) took a look at the case and determined that Eckhart was working within his First Amendment rights, it backed off but still denied that they recorded keystrokes.
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