Apple Named in Class Action Lawsuit Over Carrier IQ Privacy Issues

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A group of three law firms late last week announced (via BGR) the filing of a class action lawsuit against Apple, Carrier IQ, and five other companies over privacy issues related to Carrier IQ's logging software The list of defendants also includes hardware manufacturers HTC, Samsung, and Motorola, and carriers AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile.

The carriers and manufacturers last month were caught willfully violating customers’ privacy rights in direct violation of federal law. A technology blogger in Connecticut discovered last month that software designed and sold by California-based Carrier IQ, Inc. was secretly tracking personal and sensitive information of the cell phone users without the consent or knowledge of the users. On Nov. 30, 2011, the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary said in a letter to Carrier IQ that “these actions may violate federal privacy laws.” It added, “this is potentially a very serious matter.”

While it appears that the version of Carrier IQ's software installed on iOS devices is much less capable than that found on Android devices, concerns have still arisen over just what information is being logged and transmitted back to Carrier IQ to be passed on to carriers. For its part, Apple has claimed that it has stopped supporting Carrier IQ in iOS 5 and that it will remove all remaining traces of the service in a future iOS update.

Much of the focus has been on Carrier IQ itself and the carriers that have partnered with the company, but hardware companies have also become involved in the controversy. German regulators have already begun pressing Apple for details on its usage of Carrier IQ data, and other authorities will likely also turn to Apple and other hardware companies as the story continues to develop.

Top Rated Comments

Menopause Avatar
159 months ago
I loathe Carrier IQ but this is like a 5 star orgy for lawyer trolls, Satan's gift for Christmas!
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chase R Avatar
159 months ago
Good. Regardless of how limited Apple's implementation was of Carrier IQ, they still used it. I'm sick and tired of the tech companies using their customers for research revenue after charging us for the phone and service in the first place.

I hope they make an example out of all the companies listed in this suit. Maybe that'll hold them at bay, for a while.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
falconeight Avatar
159 months ago
I would jump on to it with any phone that I have owned using it. It really upsets me that on one hand they sell you banking apps and on the other they have the ability to record your actions.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Eriamjh1138@DAN Avatar
159 months ago
I welcome this lawsuit as it will hopefully bring to light exactly what each company does. The problem is I don't believe a word any company says about what they measure, record, store, analyze, etc.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
saving107 Avatar
159 months ago
I knew some lawyer was going to read these headlines for Carrier IQ and think $$$$
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kurosov Avatar
159 months ago
Removing this feature in a prior OS does not abstain Apple from litigation.

But having the user have to choose to turn the feature on from the start does.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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