Google 'does not work with', support Carrier IQ

Summary:Google's chairman reaffirmed today that the search and mobile giant does not use Carrier IQ mobile tracking software in Android.

Google's chairman Eric Schmidt reaffirmed that the search and mobile giant does not work with, nor does it support Carrier IQ mobile tracking software.

Speaking at a Internet freedom conference at The Hague, Netherlands, Schmidt said the "keylogger" software did record keystrokes, and: "We certainly don't work with them, and we certainly don't support it".

The Carrier IQ controversy began nearly two weeks ago, after researcher Trevor Eckhart discovered the 'mobile intelligence' software was deeply embedded within the software of his phone.

Google had previously stated that: "We do not have an affiliation with CarrierIQ", adding that while Android is open source, the company does not have any control over how carriers or OEMs customise its devices.

The search giant was embroiled in the controversy after the software was found in its Android mobile operating system, as well as many other brands of phones.

But while Google holds the highest mobile share in the U.S. with Android, it was one of the last to respond in the wake of the aftermath. Most other carriers, mobile operating system manufacturers, or phone builders confirmed their stance almost immediately.

Apple caused a stir when it revealed that it had previously used the software on its iOS mobile platform, but said that its latest incarnation iOS 5 was not affected.

The company disaster-managed the situation by saying it "never recorded keystrokes" or messages, and said it would remove any trace of the tracking software in a future update.

Both HTC and Samsung confirmed they used the Carrier IQ software in its handsets, while BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, Nokia and Microsoft denied they used the mobile 'rootkit'.

AT&T and Sprint confirmed that as networks, they used the software in customers' handsets for reasons of "network diagnostic", but was clear that it "did not and cannot look" at the contents of users' phones.

Meanwhile, as German data protection officials question Apple over its role in the controversy, no other European carrier was found to have used the software in its phones.

Including the software with phones without explicit consent from mobile phone users would have been in breach of Europe's data protection laws.

Related:

Topics: Software, CXO, Google, IT Employment

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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