Karela Fry

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You are being spied on

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Tell everyone you know. This is serious, as Business Week informs us:

European privacy regulators are asking mobile-phone carriers and makers including Apple Inc. to answer questions about privacy issues regarding Carrier IQ Inc.’s mobile phone usage-tracking software.

Carrier IQ faces allegations that the software logs sensitive phone-user information. U.S. Senator Al Franken yesterday urged the Mountain View, California-based developer to share more information about what the product does and whether it transmits data to other parties.

Privacy watchdogs were alerted to the issue after Trevor Eckhart, a Connecticut-based programmer, posted a 17-minute video three days ago on his YouTube.com channel, showing how the data-collecting software logs what people are doing on their phones without their knowledge.

Germany’s Bavarian State Authority for Data Protection contacted Apple today as regulators in the U.K., France, Ireland and Italy review whether Carrier IQ is in use in their jurisdictions. Apple said yesterday it will stop supporting the software.

The U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office “will be contacting mobile phone operators to establish if the Carrier IQ or similar software is on U.K. customers’ handsets and, if so, what steps are being taken to ensure there are no privacy implications,” the data protection watchdog said in an e-mailed statement.

Italy’s Protection of Personal Data Guarantor opened an investigation into how Carrier IQ works and is checking Italian mobile phones to verify where the software is in use, according to a statement by Francesco Pizzetti, president of the Italian watchdog.

French privacy regulator CNIL has also begun reviewing Carrier IQ, Elsa Trochet-Mace, a spokeswoman for the regulator, said in an e-mail. Initial finding show the software is not in use in France, she said. Ireland’s data-protection agency will contact mobile phone operators as well to see if and how Carrier IQ is used there.


Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

December 2, 2011 at 6:45 pm

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