Aug, 31 2011

Privacy concerns have been a hot topic as of late. Whether it’s Google, Apple or Verizon, consumers and our government is cracking down on what kind of information our smartphones are sharing without our consent. Now, it’s time to turn our attention to HTC who may have added a little something “extra” with the latest Gingerbread OTA that was recently rolled out to the Sensation and Evo 3D.

Apparently, a common Sense system app called CIQ added a brand new feature with the latest OTA called “User Behavior Logging.” According to TrevE on XDA who discovered this new function, the sneaky little app is recording your every move. Everything from logging your installed apps, to the amount of time spent on each app, every open intent and even the dreaded location information, among other data. The CIQ app isn’t the only guilty party either. There are hidden “features” in the framework as well, logging some of this info as well. The gathered information is sent to the cloud where HTC or some other company uses it for their purposes. Here’s some of the code being sent:

1 = ("com.htc.feedback", "feedback_usageOpt")
2 = ("com.android.browser", "user_action")
3 = ("com.android.htccontacts", "contact_type")
4 = ("com.android.htccontacts", "group_info")
5 = ("com.android.mms", "message_send")
6 = ("com.android.mms", "message_receive")
7 = ("com.android.mms", "message_count")
8 = ("com.android.phone", "user_action")
9 = ("com.android.phone", "settings_quietRing")
10 = ("com.android.phone", "settings_pocketMode")
11 = ("com.android.phone", "settings_flipForSpeaker")
12 = ("com.android.phone", "edit_b4_call")
13 = ("com.futuredial", "transfer_data")
14 = ("com.htc.album", "storage")
15 = ("com.htc.android.htcime", "press_duration")
16 = ("com.htc.android.htcime", "UDB_words")
17 = ("com.htc.android.htcime", "special_correction")
18 = ("com.htc.android.htcime", "WCL_cnt")
19 = ("com.htc.android.htcime", "duration_SIP")
20 = ("com.htc.android.htcime", "lang_key")
21 = ("com.htc.android.htcime", "voice_key")
22 = ("com.htc.android.htcime", "set_CIME")
23 = ("com.htc.android.htcime", "duration_SIP")
24 = ("com.htc.android.htcime", "user_action")
25 = ("com.htc.android.htcime", "waiting_time")
26 = ("com.htc.android.htcime", "fuzzy_pinYin")
27 = ("com.htc.android.htcsetupwizard", "is_sysTimeChanged")
28 = ("com.htc.android.htcsetupwizard", "feedback_usageOpt")
29 = ("com.htc.android.mail", "mail_count")
30 = ("com.htc.android.mail", "update_schedule")
31 = ("com.htc.android.mail", "default_mailsize")
32 = ("com.htc.android.mail", "widget_clickcount")
33 = ("com.htc.android.mail", "EAS_success")
34 = ("com.htc.launcher", "layout")
35 = ("com.htc.launcher", "scene")
36 = ("com.htc.launcher", "user_action")
37 = ("com.htc.launcher", "app_launch")
38 = ("com.htc.launcher", "leap_view")
39 = ("com.htc.launcher", "skin_picker")
40 = ("com.htc.music", "storage")
41 = ("device_status", "battery")
42 = ("device_status", "battery_low")
43 = ("device_status", "bluetooth")
44 = ("download_manager", "download")
45 = ("system_server", "application_launch")
46 = ("system_server", "activity_launch_history")
47 = ("system_server", "MRU_click")
48 = ("system_server", "activity_tabCount")
49 = ("system_server", "tab_index")
50 = ("system_server", "app_uninstalled")
51 = ("system_server", "launcher_downloaded")

Before you get up in arms over this invasion of privacy, according to HTC, you agreed to this. Simply jump into your device Settings > About Phone > Legal > HTC Legal. If you’re the paranoid type (or simply value your privacy) TrevE and Team Synergy have successfully managed to remove the app and code from the framework and provided a ROMs sans spyware. Unfortunately, ROM flashing and the removing of system apps is only for rooted users. What do you guys think of this? No big deal or (Ricky Ricardo voice) does HTC have some ‘splaining to do?

[Via XDA and InfectedROM]

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