For the past week or so, the Internet has been buzzing over Carrier IQ – an application that is apparently preinstalled in devices to monitor network and handset performance – and the privacy issues surrounding it.
There are several issues surrounding the reports about Carrier IQ, issues around the kind of information it gathers, the fact that it comes preinstalled in certain devices without asking for user consent, and about what users can do about it.
According to reports, Carrier IQ logs information such as sent or received text messages, Internet searches made, and phone numbers typed into devices. This routine was confirmed through the video posted by Trevor Eckhart, the researcher who initially raised the flag on Carrier IQ.
All Part of the Service
Let us consider the purpose of Carrier IQ: it is an application designed to monitor the performance of the network and the handset. The performance of the carrier can be measured by checking if the services they offer are served properly, services such as text messaging, calls, Internet connection, and others.
Based on this, we can say that collecting information related to the usage of the aforementioned phone features makes a whole lot of sense, or is even a necessity for carriers to effectively monitor and troubleshoot the services they offer.