Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 1st Dec 2011 22:29 UTC
Privacy, Security, Encryption So, this has been causing a bit of a major dungstorm - and rightly so. As it turns out, many carriers are installing a piece of non-removable privacy-invading spyware on their smartphones called CarrierIQ. It doesn't matter whether you have a webOS, Android, BlackBerry or iOS device - carriers install it on all of them. Luckily though, it would appear it really depends on your carrier - smartphones in The Netherlands, for instance, are not infested with CarrierIQ. Update: As John Gruber rightfully points out, ever so verbosely, the headline here isn't particularly well-chosen. The article makes all this clear, but the headline doesn't. It's my birthday today, so my head wasn't totally in it - my apologies! Update II: Just got a statement from an HP spokesperson: "HP does not install nor authorize its partners to embed Carrier IQ on its webOS devices."
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BlackBerry, really?
by Morgan on Thu 1st Dec 2011 12:58 UTC
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm surprised to learn that such a thing is on BlackBerry devices, considering RIM's position that they have the most secure hardware and software combination. The fact that they would knowingly install a rootkit at the carriers' behest is quite telling.

I'm also relieved to learn that it may not be included in Windows Phone 7 devices at this time. I say "may not" because I do know that Microsoft has their own supposedly anonymous usage tracking and feedback feature. It is opt-in which was a welcome sight, and of course I left it off. Whether it is powered by CarrierIQ, I do not know.

I do know that the Privacy Statement in the phone's Settings area is quite forthcoming about past and current privacy issues, even going into detail about issues they plan to fix with the next upgrade. That really impressed me, given Microsoft's history regarding privacy issues.

Reply Score: 4

RE: BlackBerry, really?
by l3v1 on Thu 1st Dec 2011 13:53 in reply to "BlackBerry, really?"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm surprised to learn that such a thing is on BlackBerry devices, considering RIM's position that they have the most secure hardware and software combination.


Well, your logged data can be transmitted most securely then :/

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: BlackBerry, really?
by chrish on Thu 1st Dec 2011 15:08 in reply to "BlackBerry, really?"
chrish Member since:
2005-07-14

If CarrierIQ is on a BlackBerry it's because the user (or their BES admin) installed it and authorized it to run, not the carrier. RIM has never authorized the carriers to install CarrierIQ.

Disclosure: I work for BlackBerry Security at RIM.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: BlackBerry, really?
by 1c3d0g on Thu 1st Dec 2011 18:23 in reply to "RE: BlackBerry, really?"
1c3d0g Member since:
2005-07-06

There are higher forces at work here. Do you REALLY think the feds and other three letter agencies DON'T know what you're up to? That's naive, to say the least. And no, I don't wear a tinfoil hat, but it's logical to assume that once you're connected to any network, someone's watching you from somewhere...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: BlackBerry, really?
by Morgan on Thu 1st Dec 2011 21:09 in reply to "RE: BlackBerry, really?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Interesting, I was always under the impression that the carriers had a lot of influence when it came to their unique versions of the BB OS. Back in the day I would play with different carriers' versions of the OS for the Storm phones, as I was using a Storm on AT&T's network and I wanted the best experience. There were a lot of low-level differences among each build.

That said, I imagine something like CarrierIQ would be blocked by RIM as it contradicts their marketing regarding security.

By the way, nice to see another Thief fan out there. ;) I've been trying to convince gog.com to get the rights to redistribute the Thief series in a modern playable format. So far they have kindly told me to "taff off".

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: BlackBerry, really?
by boblowski on Thu 1st Dec 2011 22:11 in reply to "BlackBerry, really?"
boblowski Member since:
2007-07-23

I'm surprised to learn that such a thing is on BlackBerry devices, considering RIM's position that they have the most secure hardware and software combination. The fact that they would knowingly install a rootkit at the carriers' behest is quite telling.


There was a statement from RIM in their BlackBerry support forums at http://supportforums.blackberry.com/t5/Java-Development/Does-Carrie... :
RIM can attest that it does not pre-install the CarrierIQ application on BlackBerry smartphones and has never done so. Furthermore, RIM does not authorize its carrier partners to install the CarrierIQ application on BlackBerry smartphones before sales or distribution and has never done so. RIM also did not develop or commission the development of the CarrierIQ application, nor is RIM involved in any way in the testing, promotion, or distribution of the CarrierIQ application.


Not sure exactly how official this statement is though. Seems kind of strange to me that a Development Advisor would be responsible for RIM's public communications.

Reply Parent Score: 1