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[liberationtech] Carrier IQ

Fran Parker lilbambi at gmail.com
Wed Nov 30 07:12:33 PST 2011


And IBM only provided the means to an end to track people in Nazi 
Germany too, right?

Just sayin...

Filling a need that's unethical is not filling a need, it's being 
predatory...IMHO.

On 11/30/11 10:07 AM, Rebecca MacKinnon wrote:
> More perspective here:
>
> http://www.androidcentral.com/carrier-iq-evil-we-agree-and-hate-we-did-it
> Editorial: Carrier IQ -- the 'evil' we agree to and hate that we did it
>   By Jerry Hildenbrand<http://www.androidcentral.com/author/jerry-hildenbrand>
>   30 Nov 2011 12:00 am
>
> Seems like every time you turn around you'll see corporations using sneaky
> tricks to gain a competitive advantage over a different, yet equally sneaky
> corporation.  That's usually how money is made by the people who are best
> at making lots of it -- at the expense of others.  The cell phone industry
> is no different, even though we wish it were.  Yes, I'm talking about Carrier
> IQ<http://www.androidcentral.com/carrier-iq-withdraws-misguided-cease-and-desist-letter-apologizes-security-advocate-treve>,
> and it's my turn to bitch.
>
> Carrier IQ sells a stock client for
> BlackBerry<http://crackberry.com/?utm_source=topbar&utm_medium=topbar&utm_campaign=mobilenations&utm_term=ac>,
> Symbian, and Android.  There's strong evidence that  they also make client
> software for other smartphone platforms, and even semi-smartphone
> OS's<http://www.tipb.com/?utm_source=topbar&utm_medium=topbar&utm_campaign=mobilenations&utm_term=ac>like
> Bada or BREW.  But they're only making it easy to get the same type of
> data your carrier has been collecting about you since the minute you turned
> your cell phone on.  *If they're collecting it in an insecure manner, which
> has happened<http://www.androidcentral.com/htc-collecting-data-us-phones-htc-sense-storing-it-very-sloppy-way-security>,
> that's bad on them, and they need to fix it -- pronto*. But they're not
> doing it on their own. They're doing it at the behest of the manufacturer
> and the carrier, who uses the data to determine how to make changes that
> get you to spend more money when they offer you the latest shiny.  If 72
> percent of the people use a certain feature, you can bet your last dollar
> that more work goes into making that feature "better" so it's a stronger
> selling point.  Carrier IQ, as a company, could care less what you do with
> your smartphone, when you do it, or why.  All they do is make it easier for
> the people you give your money to each month to see why you like your
> phone.  I don't work for HTC or AT&T, but I'm sure easy data collection and
> aggregation makes for a compelling sales pitch.
>
> CIQ isn't doing anything it's not supposed to be doing, unless there's a
> software bug in play.  The software was purposefully placed there in order
> to track what you're doing in real time.  Apparently, it works pretty
> well.  Some may argue that it's a rootkit, or a flaw of some sort, but to
> the people using the product -- again, the carrier and manufacturer -- it's
> a feature, one that they pay money to include.  Remember, you are not HTC's
> (or Samsung, or LG, or RIM, etc.) customer -- companies like Verizon and
> Sprint are, and all parties find the data that's collected pretty damn
> useful, so they aren't likely to stop collecting it.
>
> It could be argued that you don't have a choice in the matter. You bought
> the phone. And while there might be (and usually is -- see the picture
> above from a CIQ enabled HTC phone) some vague reference to the phone
> collecting data about how you use it, you likely skipped over that section,
> and it's not all that up-front about what's being collected or how it's
> being done. But on the other hand, that's probably true about 90 percent of
> what your phone's doing at any given time.  *It works exactly how it's
> supposed to work.*  Getting mad about it after the fact isn't very
> productive, and isn't going to solve the problem any time soon.
>
> Vote with your wallet.  You have the option to say no to this sort of data
> collection software, and that's done by not buying phones that use it.
> Every major carrier in the world now carries one of those.
>
> Yes, I think Carrier IQ is a bad thing, done by unscrupulous people so they
> have more pennies to count.  But all the hate towards the company that
> writes and sells the software is misguided.  They are only filling a need,
> and if they stop someone else will step up to replace them.  Enough words
> have been written about it, yet the solution for Android fans only needs
> three:
>
> Buy a Nexus.
>
>
> On Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 8:59 AM, Jesse Krembs<jessekrembs at gmail.com>  wrote:
>
>> I might have missed this, but does anyone know what the breakdown is for
>> CIQ market penetration? Or in a another sense which carriers use it? Which
>> phone are effected? What's the payload version and features by phone?
>>
>> Thanks.
>>
>> On Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 8:54 AM, Eric King<eric at privacy.org>  wrote:
>>
>>> On 30 Nov 2011, at 13:48, John Graham-Cumming wrote:
>>>
>>>>   My best guess is that they are not storing all your keystrokes etc. on
>>> the servers (or even receiving them) and that this whole story will turn
>>> into one about privacy policies and ability to disable their software.
>>>
>>> They said that it is not in real time (although technically it could be)
>>> but depending on the service, they usually get around 200kb of data
>>> including 'aggregated key presses' (their words) once a week. More is sent
>>> if a call is dropped, or they want to drill down to a specific user etc.
>>>
>>>>   one about privacy policies and ability to disable their software.
>>>
>>> FWIW my scribbles tell me that they told me their opt-out rate is between
>>> 5 - 30%.
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>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Jesse Krembs
>> 802.233.7051
>>
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>
>
>
>
>
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