Nokia and RIM Deny Carrier IQ is Loaded on Their Devices

According to Business Insider, Nokia has stated that their devices do not come loaded with Carrier IQ. From the article:

Nokia says it does not authorize Carrier IQ on its devices. Nokia calls reports of Carrier IQ being found on its phones “inaccurate.” Nokia also says that Carrier IQ doesn’t support Nokia phones, so it’s impossible to be installed later.

RIM has also stated that none of its BlackBerry devices come with Carrier IQ. From the article:

RIM is aware of a recent claim by a security researcher that an application called “CarrierIQ” is installed on mobile devices from multiple vendors without the knowledge or consent of the device users. RIM does not pre-install the CarrierIQ app on BlackBerry smartphones or authorize its carrier partners to install the CarrierIQ app before sales or distribution. RIM also did not develop or commission the development of the CarrierIQ application, and has no involvement in the testing, promotion, or distribution of the app. RIM will continue to investigate reports and speculation related to CarrierIQ.

This contradicts Trevor Eckhart’s original assertion that BlackBerry devices—in addition to Android devices—have Carrier IQ installed.

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]