Al Franken responds to Carrier IQ, Sprint, AT&T
"I appreciate the responses I received, but I'm still very troubled by what's going on," the U.S. Senator said in the statement today.
Franken requested data from Carrier IQ, manufacturers and carriers after public outcry over the mobile tracking software and allegations of keylogging. Today, the senator publicly released letters from AT&T, Sprint, Samsung, HTC and Carrier IQ in response to his probe. T-Mobile and Motorola have yet to respond.
Sprint admitted that it began using Carrier IQ software on its devices as early as 2006 and is active on approximately 26 million mobile phones (PDF). AT&T claims the software is running on about 900,000 devices, but only collects data on 575,000 (PDF).
The senator was not satisfied with the responses to his query.
"People have a fundamental right to control their private information. After reading the companies' responses, I'm still concerned that this right is not being respected. The average user of any device equipped with Carrier IQ software has no way of knowing that this software is running, what information it is getting, and who it is giving it to-and that's a problem. It appears that Carrier IQ has been receiving the contents of a number of text messages-even though they had told the public that they did not. I'm also bothered by the software's ability to capture the contents of our online searches-even when users wish to encrypt them. So there are still many questions to be answered here and things that need to be fixed."
The dispute over privacy concerns began when Android developer Trevor Eckhart posted a video on YouTube showing the software Carrier IQ interacting oddly with his mobile phone activity. Eckhert alleged his keystrokes and data were being collected without his permission.
Speculation and accusations began flying immediately over what data Carrier IQ was collecting. Many believed the software was logging keystrokes and collecting sensitive data.