CarrierIQ Accused of Planting Spyware on Smartphones

Mobile analytics company CarrierIQ and its business partners were hammered with negative press and legal actions when a researcher discovered that the company’s software, capable of intercepting and recording almost every single use of the phone, had been pre-installed on millions of HTC, Samsung, and Apple phones provided by T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T without users’ knowledge or consent. The company initially tried to suppress reports about its product by threatening the researcher with a lawsuit but later was forced to acknowledge that it held a “treasure trove” of information and was sharing this information with the carriers. As a result, the company and its partners saw the situation “spiral out of control” and faced class action lawsuits alleging violations of federal wiretapping law, as well as the scorn of users, the media, and Congress.

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