With security being such a big factor these days, it feels like everything gets put under the microscope with the utmost scrutiny. One of the many things that played into security being a bigger issue than ever now compared to years past, is the CarrierIQ software that had been found to be installed on millions of handsets from various manufacturers. The software was said to allegedly have the ability to log the keystrokes of a user on their mobile device. OEM’s like HTC, Samsung, LG, and others all had this software installed on several of their handsets.
Although CarrierIQ remains that their mobile software installation was not set up to invoke the ability to log keystrokes for the purpose of getting a hold of sensitive consumer data, they did come forward after a report that was published back in 2011 shedding light on their software’s ability, stating that it did sometimes log keystrokes of messages but that they weren’t able to read the data. It’s been reported today that they have, out of principle, decided to settle the class action lawsuit brought on by consumers over the entire issue with the software. The alleged violation of consumer privacy had led to a years long process in the courts over the matter and the decision to settle the lawsuit out of principle seems like just a tactic to save face. If the settlement goes through, accusations against CarrierIQ would essentially be null and void as this would technically resolve the issue. Now that CarrierIQ has decided to settle, all that’s left is for the device OEMs involved to settle their end of the lawsuit. This could end up happening some time next week as the manufacturers are scheduled to meet with a the consumer lawyers and a mediator around that time.
Whether or not CarrierIQ’s mobile software was intended to help carriers address network issues like dropped calls, or more nefarious purposes remains largely unknown, but if the settlement gets approved and they reach an agreement it probably won’t matter anyways. Were you someone who had a device that had the CarrierIQ mobile software installed? Do you remember the issue in the first place? Share your thoughts on the matter.