Mobile Device Privacy Act To Prevent Carrier IQ Incidents In The Future

Posted on Feb 2 2012 - 7:25am by Kyle

Congressman Ed Markey, a staunch supported of American's privacy

When Carrier IQ was first exposed by Geek.com’s Russell Holly it sparked a whirlwind of information and debate even at congressional levels. Key members of congress like Senator Al Franken and Congressman Edward Markey, both wanted to hear from Carrier IQ in regards to protecting citizens privacy.

The debate over Carrier IQ sparked a new bill being introduced now in the House of Representatives called the “Mobile Device Privacy Act”. The bill would call for all of the U.S. mobile carriers to properly inform customers whenever tracking software, like Carrier IQ, is installed on a mobile phone, regardless of how they are tracking the consumer.

More after the break
“Consumers have the right to know and to say no to the presence of software on their mobile devices that can collect and transmit their personal and sensitive information,” said Rep. Edward Markey, who is a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and former chairman of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet.

Representative Markey is staunch supported of citizens privacy. Last week he raised questions over Google’s new unified privacy policy which may be in violation of a settlement the search giant (and creator of Android) made with the Federal Trade Commission.
Carrier IQ was found on several OEMs devices across multiple carriers. Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T were all found to have devices that used Carrier IQ. OEM’s and carriers basically said that they used the Carrier IQ software for diagnostics.
Mobile security guru Trevor Eckhart found that Carrier IQ was recording more than just diagnostic information. Through a series of videos that he shared with journalist Russell Holly and then the world, Eckhart showed that Carrier IQ was tracking text messages and their content along with login credentials and other information believed to be encrypted.
Eckhart also found that Carrier IQ still recorded information and sent it back even when on a device that wasn’t on a cellular plan and only using wifi.
This law, when passed, would mean that carriers would need to be absolutely clear which apps were used for diagnostics, which information was recorded and transmitted and how the user can opt out.
Download the text of the act here
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