How to disable the Carrier IQ 'rootkit' on your iPhone

How to disable the Carrier IQ 'rootkit' on your iPhone

Summary: A few taps and your done!

SHARE:

[UPDATE: According to a statement from Apple to AllThingsD, Apple stopped supporting Carrier IQ with iOS 5.0 for most devices:

“We stopped supporting Carrier IQ with iOS 5 in most of our products and will remove it completely in a future software update. With any diagnostic data sent to Apple, customers must actively opt-in to share this information, and if they do, the data is sent in an anonymous and encrypted form and does not include any personal information. We never recorded keystrokes, messages or any other personal information for diagnostic data and have no plans to ever do so.”

However, the iPhone 4 still makes use of Carrier IQ.

When begs the question ... what's collecting all the information on the iPhone? Is this a mechanism developed by Apple for Apple?]

Bit shocked that your iPhone has that Carrier IQ logging feature built into the OS? You can switch it off ... in fact, I've shown you how to do this before!

Here's how!

Buried in the Settings menu is an option to choose not to send what Apple calls 'diagnostic and usage data.' This option is buried real deep:

Settings > General > About > Diagnostics & Usage

Here's the screen you're looking for:

Set this to Don’t Send and you can stop worrying about where your data is going and who's looking at it.

Note that this feature is only present on handsets running iOS 5.0 or later (so the iPhone 4S and upgraded iPhone 4 and 3GS handsets.

Image creditMike_fleming

Related:

Topics: Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

43 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: How to disable the Carrier IQ 'rootkit' on your iPhone

    The diagnostic & usage setting is also there on 3rd/4th gen iPod Touch with iOS5. Should there be concern with those devices?
    rwherr@...
    • RE: How to disable the Carrier IQ 'rootkit' on your iPhone

      @rwherr@... probably not, no carrier involved. Switch it off if worried tho.
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
      • RE: How to disable the Carrier IQ 'rootkit' on your iPhone

        @Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

        ZDNet - the National Enquirer of IT News.

        There's no 'rootkit' on the iPhone. Simple diagnostics that is off by default.
        gribittmep
      • RE: How to disable the Carrier IQ 'rootkit' on your iPhone

        @Adrian Kingsley-Hughes Thank you for the heads up on this Adrian. It's much appreciated.
        Graham Ellison
      • RE: How to disable the Carrier IQ 'rootkit' on your iPhone

        @Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
        this links can help you

        http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=17612559&postcount=110
        http://blog.chpwn.com/post/13572216737?831dd5c8
        Slavomeer
    • RE: How to disable the Carrier IQ 'rootkit' on your iPhone

      @rwherr@... The only data that the Touches I have checked (seven so far) send are crash and low memory reports. You can read the actual reports - they are right under the settings. Oh - and the setting is turned OFF by default. You have to explicitly turn it on.
      m0o0o0o0o
  • What about Android devices?

    Is there a similar method for Android devices?

    And, why isn't any company or government stepping up to investigate this massive breach of privacy?
    justthisguyyouknow
    • RE: How to disable the Carrier IQ 'rootkit' on your iPhone

      @justthisguyyouknow Android's messy ... needs rooting ... hopefully will have more info soon
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
      • RE: How to disable the Carrier IQ 'rootkit' on your iPhone

        @Adrian Kingsley-Hughes So much better outside Apple's "walled garden"! Irony:??
        Graham Ellison
    • RE: How to disable the Carrier IQ 'rootkit' on your iPhone

      @justthisguyyouknow

      Because the government is likely using this data itself. That's why no one is prosecuting the inclusion of this rootkit in the OSs. Apple presents this as "Apple would like your help to improve the quality and performance of its products and services. Your device can automatically collect diagnostic and usage information and send it to Apple for analysis - but only with your explicit consent."

      Wish I trusted that withdrawing consent would insure that this information was not collected or shared with anyone. I don't believe that, nor do a number of folks using these devices.
      Geek10
    • RE: How to disable the Carrier IQ 'rootkit' on your iPhone

      @justthisguyyouknow Yes you could always shut off the Data Android Sends! Go to a pro Android Forum and they will direct you to the right place.
      slickjim
      • RE: How to disable the Carrier IQ 'rootkit' on your iPhone

        @Peter Perry This is a rootkit, impossible to remove completely unless you rebuild the OS from the source code... Yes, this is VERY nasty. http://androidsecuritytest.com/features/logs-and-services/loggers/carrieriq/carrieriq-part2/
        nickts
    • RE: How to disable the Carrier IQ 'rootkit' on your iPhone

      @justthisguyyouknow Come on. Read the reports. Right under the settings is the actual data that is being sent, organized by report. To say that this is overblown would be an understatement. By the way, in iOS, the setting is OFF by default. YOU have to turn it on.
      m0o0o0o0o
      • RE: How to disable the Carrier IQ 'rootkit' on your iPhone

        @m0o0o0o0o That's not true I've just checked my iPhone 4 running iOS 5 and it was set to On by default. What was your advice? "Read the reports."? Well read the advice on here and you'll see that this is the case.
        Graham Ellison
  • RE: How to disable the Carrier IQ 'rootkit' on your iPhone

    Is this how the Tethering Police know when someone is tethering their iPhone with something like that short-lived tethering app?
    bobiroc
    • RE: How to disable the Carrier IQ 'rootkit' on your iPhone

      @bobiroc probably not ... they are either using deep packet inspection, or, more likely, just looking at saturation (that is, how fast people are using bandwidth)
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
      • RE: How to disable the Carrier IQ 'rootkit' on your iPhone

        @Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

        Just wondering because I have helped a few people turn this off and noticed in the logs that it shows a tethering session for the few people that have it enabled in their phone plan.

        Still sucks they insist on charging extra for that. Your data (limited or not) should be data no matter if you are using the phone directly or if it is being used tethered to another device.
        bobiroc
      • RE: How to disable the Carrier IQ 'rootkit' on your iPhone

        @Adrian Kingsley-Hughes I still think that packets are packets. Ultimately users are paying carriers to move packets. I am amazed that tethering police have not seen the light of day in a US class-action court battle.
        Geek10
      • Class action against a carrier is difficult.

        @bobiroc When you sign a contract with a carrier, you agree to arbitration and give up your right to file a class action. This is why one law firm was encouraging thousands of individuals to file separate small claims court cases once for another matter.
        taylor@...
  • Is this actually the same software as the Androids, or Apple's diagnostics?

    How did you determine this is Carrier IQ's "root kit"?<br><br> [Nevermind, I found the references on Gizmodo to that question, but also found this statement. "Now, references to the same software have been discovered in Apple's iOS. But in this case, it only logs technical data and it's off by default."
    psquared007