Google 'does not work with', support Carrier IQ

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.


Topics: Software, CXO, Google, IT Employment

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  • RE: Google 'does not work with', support Carrier IQ

    Google collects more data on its own, than Carrier IQ would be ever able to.
    • Hontoo naa

      Anyone who sleeps better at night because The Evil CarrierIQ has been dispatched must have wandered out of the forest in the last week. Who are CarrierIQ's competitors? Does anyone believe they didn't have any? How many in-house solutions that do pretty much the same thing are there?

      Everybody knows that Google makes its money by targeting you with ads that match your "interests." Have they ever asked you what your interests are? Which doofuses believe that Google spends money developing Android -- and then gives it away for free -- out of the goodness of their hearts?

      Sure, let's jump up and down on the grave of CarrierIQ. That'll solve all privacy issues forevermore. Sure it will.
      Robert Hahn
  • RE: Google 'does not work with', support Carrier IQ

    Google would know more about their own Android Mobile Operating System than Dan Rosenberg, the supposed Security Expert. I guess Dan Rosenberg really WAS paid to defend Carrier IQ in that it didn't record keystrokes.

    Google has the last and final word: "Carrier IQ is a keylogger" period.
    • RE: Google 'does not work with', support Carrier IQ

      @zdnetviewer Do you see this 'controversy' ending any time soon? Were you affected by this software?
      • RE: Google 'does not work with', support Carrier IQ

        Now that Google has stepped in to defend themselves against Carrier IQ's potential to point fingers at the Android OS for providing developers with the debug file logging capabilities, I do see some light at the end of the tunnel.

        And yes, this affects the majority of ethical mobile developers and companies, as many consumers who purchase mobile apps would begin to develop the misconception that "all" mobile apps have the potential to acquire "root" level permissions and Android Market bypass waivers that Carrier IQ possesses. Thus, having the capability to code anything, update anytime, without supervision, in order to perform sophisticated, secret, and covert activities without being discovered, detected, disabled, or removed by users and "security researchers".
      • RE: Google 'does not work with', support Carrier IQ

        @zwhittaker "Do you see this 'controversy' ending any time soon?"

        It's up to you bloggers and news writers.
  • This is interesting

    It proves that Apple was working hand in hand with Carrier IQ and Google was not.
    • It proves nothing of the sort

      Your rampant hatred of Apple (the company, not the product line) is showing again. This does not show that Apple was "working hand in hand" with Carrier IQ. The software was purchased by Apple and Apple has admitted to limited use for diagnostic purposes, but like any OEM they bought a product, installed it, and (presumably) configured it for their device. Nowhere is there any suggestion that they offered any partnership or support to CIQ.

      Furthermore, I will point out <i>again</i> that in every generation of the iOS software has <i>explicitly asked your permission</i> to send diagnostic information to Apple. In other words, they are the only OEM to implement such diagnostics in a completely <b>OPT IN</b> manner.

      I was working for Apple and received a 1st gen iPhone so my knowledge about this is personal and historic. Apple has always (well at least since 2001) been able to capture and send data from it's devices for diagnostic purposes. That data has ALWAYS been anonymized, and it has always been OPT IN.

      On the other hand, my current phone is an HTC EVO Shift (thanks to ATT p1551ng me off too much). On that phone I know that the CIQ software is running, I have no idea what data it is capturing, I have no idea if it is sending that data to Sprint without my permission, and if it is I have no idea whether or not the data is anonymized first. Quite a difference, and only one of several reasons that I will be going back to the iPhone next year.
      • I was comparing OS vendors

        Android (Google) - Did not support Carrier IQ at all
        iOS (Apple) - Embedded Carrier IQ deep within the OS
        WP7 (Microsoft) - Did not support Carrier IQ at all

        That is undeniable fact.
      • Calling a big BS on that one

        @macadam <br>I have on hand - iPhone 3G, 3GS, and 4<br>The 4 is on iOS5, the others not.<br>On the pre-5 version there is no opt out.

        Am I also to believe Apple "anonymized" my data?
      • RE: Google 'does not work with', support Carrier IQ

        "Android (Google) - Did not support Carrier IQ at all
        iOS (Apple) - Embedded Carrier IQ deep within the OS
        WP7 (Microsoft) - Did not support Carrier IQ at all

        That is undeniable fact. "

        Actually, all of that is deniable.

        Apple embedded Carrier IQ no more deeply than anybody else, it has barely been used by Apple, and oh yeah it is being removed completely soon.

        Android does have Carrier IQ. Just because Google doesn't use it doesn't mean the handset manufacturers haven't been using it. That's one big red herring. Same with the Windows phone.

        Do you think red herrings make you great?
  • "We certainly do not capture and store wifi hotspots and data

    and we certainly don???t support it???.
    William Farrel
  • RE: Google 'does not work with', support Carrier IQ

    Put Carrier IQ top brass in prison.
  • Journalese ?

    "Google 'does not work with', support Carrier IQ" - missing "nor" somewhere there ?
  • What about Flurry et al in apps ?

    You should also be aware of such data-collection frameworks such as Flurry that app developers link in so as to report platform and other stats.