Mobile Tech Helps Tie People to Work After Hours

Ina Fried wrote an interesting piece for AllThingsD titled “ Mobile Technology Frees Workers to Work Any 20 Hours a Day They Choose .” Quick snippet:

A new survey from Good Technology finds that the typical American is working more than a month and a half of overtime per year just in the amount of time spent answering work phone calls and responding to email.

The amount of total work done outside of the confines of the office adds up to 30 hours per month for the average worker.

This is exactly why I do not tie my work e-mail to my mobile. Even though I am lucky enough to work from home, I make sure my work laptop is powered down and put away after each workday to ensure it does not interfere with my personal life. I work so that I can provide for my family. I logout so I can spend time with them.

Hidden Mobile Phone and Tablet Tracking Built In

Android app developer Trevor Eckhart discovered that hidden in his Android phone was tracking software by Carrier IQ, which he feels exhibits the traits of a rootkit. So what does it track? How about key presses, geographic locations, and messages received by its users.

On Monday, Trevor posted the following video to YouTube, exposing what the Carrier IQ software monitored on his stock HTC EVO handset:

Amazingly enough, the users are never informed of this app, nor are they given the ability to toggle whether the monitoring service should run. Instead they are forced to trust Carrier IQ, and Carrier IQ’s customers, for the privacy of any data collected.

Performing damage control, Carrier IQ has posted a Media Alert, clarifying how their software is used by customers. I find the following snippet interesting:

While we look at many aspects of a device’s performance, we are counting and summarizing performance, not recording keystrokes or providing tracking tools. The metrics and tools we derive are not designed to deliver such information, nor do we have any intention of developing such tools.

The video clearly shows the monitoring software is capable of recording keystrokes. What’s more concerning is how the software can see variables passed via an encrypted website as if they were never encrypted.

If you think that avoiding Android powered devices will exempt you from this privacy invasion, think again. In addition to Android, Carrier IQ also has software available and installed on BlackBerry, Apple iOS and Nokia devices.

Update: It has been determined that iOS devices also contain Carrier IQ.

[Via The Register]