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New Carrier IQ Class Action Lawsuit Sues More OEMs, Carriers

As accusations of fouplay within Carrier IQ have turned up due to research work done by Trevor Eckhart – who exposed the company for collecting user information that may be violating the Federal Wiretap Act – some lawsuits shortly followed.

One early class action lawsuit targeted HTC, Samsung and Carrier IQ. A new one filed by three lawfirms in a joint effort is targeted at HTC, Samsung, Apple, Motorola, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile. Strangely enough, Carrier IQ itself isn’t being sued in this particular instance.

Carrier IQ has not been hit with a formal federal investigation yet but these lawsuits and pressure from government bodies all add nicely to a hopeful investigation sometime in the future.

Carrier IQ has admitted that their application may appear to be logging information that should be kept private, but they say it’s a byproduct of trying to send information to carriers and OEMs that is actually useful to helping them improve wireless service.

Saying it is one thing and proving it is another, though. Hopefully more of these lawsuits turn up and a big, bright spotlight will be put on the carriers and OEMs who use this service in order to put immense pressure on Carrier IQ to fully and accurately show what information really is or isn’t being transmitted from our phones.




  • Nigel Harrison

    Awesome, more trial lawyers putting some class action together with some obscene settlement of which the lawyers take 90% and everyone who signs on to the class action ends up with a $2 credit on their phone bill. Then the sued companies reclaim the bottom line loss by making cuts or whatever to increase profits from future handsets/services – thus the “consumer” loses twice – what a great system.

    • http://twitter.com/havens1515 Randroid

      Hopefully it will at least lead to getting the software off of our phones (or at the very least, off of future phones.) You know, since they’re collecting all of this information without even asking the consumer for permission.

      • David Kelly

        ‘All this information’ – We don’t know what info they are collecting; that is the real problem.  What was shown in the video was just stuff going to a log file, not what was being sent.

        ‘Without consumer permission’ – You likely already said yes to the carrier gathering usage information from you.  Did you read all the fine print and every license agreement presented when you got the phone and first turned it on?  No?  Neither did I.

        • http://www.facebook.com/noirelion Noire Lion

          You really think they are going to say in a coherent manner that the software they put on 150million phones- that has the capabilities to do illegal actions- (remember they programmed the software for a specific purpose)- you really expect them to tell anyone they programmed software to do illegal stuff- but you then choose to believe they didnt use software they paid the programmer corp to make to their specifications- WAS NOT USED!!?? So they paid for software that can read our emails and texts and bank account passwords etc… and just for kicks put it on our phones only to use the “diagnostic portions” to get the legally obtainable stuff… but they never intended and never did use the other parts that can do all the other stuff..
          You expect them to say- they did illegal stuff? Honestly? you expect the people who put the rootkit on our phones to just say it in english? When they can hem and haw and point fingers and muddy the picture, and walk away from it all?
          I mean get real.

    • shadesguy

      I completely agree

    • ScottColbert

      And what would you suggest? Litigation, while not perfect, is a somewhat necessary evil. It’s so easy to piss and moan about this, but if you don’t have a better idea, shhhh.

      • David Kelly

        Umm, consumers answering with their money?  At least one carrier states they are not using Carrier IQ.  Now is the time for the advertising firms to jump on board and promote the carrier that isn’t spying on their users (ha!, they just haven’t been caught yet)

        • ScottColbert

          Yes, all those consumers paying ETF’s and switching to another carrier, that’s realistic.

          • David Kelly

            So, you don’t pay the ETF, you let your contract expire and move along.

            My point was, there are reasonable alternatives than getting lawyers involved.  They are NOT looking after your interest; just their pocket books.

          • http://www.facebook.com/noirelion Noire Lion

            Legally allowing the corps to get away with this with no lawsuits or prosecutions is just begging to be raped next week with a newer scam.
            Get off your knees. for the win.

          • http://www.facebook.com/noirelion Noire Lion

            ETF is only for people dumb enough to pay. I called Sprint on Thursday. I got the termination of service without etf in writing in the morning mail. I’m contract free with 3 phones. It’s funny- I wanted a galaxy nexus with str8 android running on it -local Verizon store is selling them this week.

            Complaining that the ciq software running on our phones for almost two years has caused me to hate the Sprint Corporation- seems to be all the argument that I needed to walk away without the 200 dollar per phone early termination fee- sent in writing.
             But some people wont ever even complain- when they are wronged horribly. The just lay there and take it- or like some on these forums- they champion the people sticking it to them.

        • doug chan

          I have a Facinate from the carrier you aren’t mentioning and it says right in the running app list “logsprivider”. It’s an app with a list of permissions that’s longer than anything i’ve ever seen and can’t be killed. I think it’s only a matter of time before we find out this kind of software is pandemic. :(

          • David Kelly

            I guess one of the problems is that there is a serious disconnect between the consumer and carriers; primarily a communications problem.  However, how does the carrier communicate, in terms that our mother’s would understand, what they are doing and why.

            Would it be an invasion of privacy for Carrier IQ-like software to monitor battery level usage from applications?  What about a checksum of an SMS message and then compare that to the checksum of the same message once it made it to carrier?  What about being able to effectively manage how users navigate to the settings page (‘menu’->’Settings’ vs ‘All programs’->Settings)?

            Also, as a developer, the value of the log files is critical.  However, what we were watched in the video was concerning.  Not from the point of what they are sending to carrier, but rather, what is actually left in the logs, which could possibly be recovered if someone gained physical access to your phone.

            Finally, how many people use 3rd party SMS apps?  These apps have exactly the same kind of access to the SMS messages and are not accountable to the carrier.

            What needs to come out of this whole thing is just better communication between the carriers and consumers.

          • http://www.facebook.com/noirelion Noire Lion

            Breaking the Federal Wiretap Laws is more than a “communications gap” between carriers and consumers.

            Having the carrier iq rootkit warez hidden away was a deliberate attempt to hide wrong doing.

            The “pandemic” of this “behavior” being as pervasive as it is- will be no defense in courts of law- (wait- I forgot what a bunch of hideous industry trolls we have on the Supreme Court)… and these dirtbag corps will stall these lawsuits until millions die- like the tobacco corporate crooks did.. You can see the writing on the walls already. The corporation can do whatever they want- including looting the American people- get sued up to their eyeballs- wait it out for decades, pay a pittance after 500 appeals and nobody ever go to jail for anything- except maybe Martha Stewart.
            The country of family values, the exceptional nation, the land of the Free and the Brave- really is the land of corporate greed run wild and consumer slaves who get raped at will by corporate masters who are protected by the Supremes.

          • Leon

            Would they even need physical access or just a rogue app that transmits the contents of those logs?

          • http://www.facebook.com/noirelion Noire Lion

            I think we already know- we need Congress to investigate- refer the matter to the FBI, prosecute and make laws that protect citizens liberty and privacy from the rapacious corporations that use us consumers like so much toilet paper.

        • The_ATL_Guy

          They arent spying on us. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/noirelion Noire Lion

            Your certainty that of the 150 million smartphones with this evil software loaded secretly on- that none of the 150,000,000 consumers who bought those phones with that software secretly loaded on was harmed- and you know this …..how???
            (Answer- you have no damned idea what you are talking about.)…

            The question would be –using your “they are not spying on us…”
            Then why in hells name is a system that at the flip of a personal choice of these operations- CAN- with great accuracy read our emails, text messages, bank account passwords, etc etc..
            whats it doing secretly loaded on 150,000,000 smartphones, then?

        • http://www.facebook.com/noirelion Noire Lion

          I agree- but we can concurrently have both solutions.
          Some people would have the corporations that wronged us so terribly- walk away scot free- everytime they violate us.

          But I think we consumers should both sue them demand criminal prosecutions(for what they have obviously done to us) AND vote with our pocketbooks- by dumping an unethical carrier, manufacturer that has sold us goods and services- but screwed us over terribly. Take our business elsewhere where we are not routinely and secretly and illegally spied upon.

    • Michael Gulotta

      I’ll take the $2 credit and get CIQ off my phone.

  • Dsparil

    Not a complete loss since it well be removed from all phones.

    • David Kelly

      No, it is a complete loss for the consumer.  You don’t think the cost of a class action lawsuit won’t be passed directly on to you?  Think again.

      Carrier IQ (and the carriers) really buggered up this whole thing by not being forthcoming about exactly what the Carrier IQ software was doing.  Now, its being muddied by arm chair experts spouting out their opinions like they are facts (that all the data shown in the log file is being sent to carrier or carrier IQ; there has been no demonstration what-so-ever of that).

      The ONLY winner in this case are the law firms that are trying to capitalize on the fear mongering the press is spouting.

      Finally, you will always have some kind of carrier analytics on your phone; you even agreed to some of it when you signed your contract for service.

      • The_ATL_Guy

        And this service probably helps all of us and now because of some ambulance chasers and paranoids we may lose this. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/noirelion Noire Lion

          You are a serious industry troll.
          You spout this “poor corporations” line everywhere you go.

          The price of our phones is already as high as the rapidly shrinking pool of gainfully employed consumers can pay. Assuredly the price of phones will be coming down. Since we consumers have less spendable income and that amount is going down every year…. The companies that offer actually affordable phones and services will get business- and the ones that viciously spy on us and charge ridiculous amounts for phones and services- will gradually lose their customer base.

          But when millions of people are paying for phones but the devices we have paid cash money for are used to spy so un-apologetically on us and we catch them red handed- well they need jail, lawsuits and other incentives not to engage in this awful scumbag behavior.
          They need to be prosecuted and sued- so they don’t do us this way again. Without a deep meaningful spanking- they’ll do worse next time.

          There is a group of people who keep saying “trial lawyers- trial lawyers” over and over like a mantra… they have more trouble with “trial lawyers” profitting from attacking the corporations spying on us consumers… well theres no one else on our side- but the trial lawyers- without them suing on the consumers behalf- the corporations will do anything they please with us- and these people yelling trial lawyers- seem to not mind the corporations screwing us over- for some odd reason…

          • The_ATL_Guy

            there is no evidence that your cell phone company is spying on you.
            the vast majority of cell phones out there are free or are very very low cost.
            you sound all butt hurt because you can’t afford a high end phone.
            it’s not the cellphone providers or manufacturers fault that you can’t afford a smartphone get a part time job work harder make it happen.
            I can’t tell you the number of part time jobs I have had if I want something extra.
            I don’t sit around and blame a company for my shortcomings.

          • Leon

            Had you actually taken the time (even a few minutes) to research the issue before commenting on this article or any relevant comment, your comments may have had some value to someone other than yourself. If Carrier IQ is such a vital part of diagnosing and improving the network, then why is it that on the networks that is is being used on that it is only present and active on android phones (except pure ASOP) and turned off on iPhones and supposedly not even present on Windows phones? Why is it that only certain carriers are using this while others are not? Even if the data isn’t being transmitted by CIQ, having critical user information such as user login credentials stored in plain text is by no means a trivial matter because even if it isn’t accessed by the carrier,  that information could be accessed later on by those with malicious intent either remotely or with physical access to the device. But of course that whole News Corp thing didn’t happen and that was just paranoia, right? Exactly how much research did you do on this before sharing your “informed” opinion?

          • The_ATL_Guy

            Leon it sounds like your question should be addressed to a particular carrier.

          • SimplyHere

            Bent…

          • SimplyHere

            Is it the corporations screwing us over? Does AT&T need to figure out it’s network usage by looking at my phone? Can’t they do that with their own network diagnostics and packet filtering/tracing/logging software? So… who really initiated the idea (DHS) of spying on nearly every phone in the country?

  • http://MyShocker.com Nudo

    I just hope we don’t find out what all hope we don’t find out

    • http://www.facebook.com/noirelion Noire Lion

      All you can do is change your bank password etc… and maybe stop using your phone for anything important from now on. But I’m praying that we dont all get raped identity theft wise too.
      We paid them big money to be worried like this- they are truly dirtbags.

      Wait- you can root your phone- if you stay with the carrier and load cyanogen 7 rom- but this voids your warranty- neat isnt it? You can only truly get rid of the rootkit the manufacturer and carriers put on to spy on you on your own phone- by hacking your phone and putting open source operating system made by ethical geeks!?
      America is upside down- you have more chance not getting spied on by actual hackers- and the corporations- you pay and expect ethical treatment from are the ones to be afraid of… What did that crazy boxing promoter- Don King (with the just woke up out of bed hair)- always say?? “Only in America baby! Only in America!”

  • nocco

    As long as they remove the program from all phones, i could care less where the money goes.  when i purchased my phone, i was not asked if they could install an app to track usages and vital stats that in return slow my phone down and use data.

    • http://www.facebook.com/noirelion Noire Lion

      and since its alwasy running- kills ur battery.

  • cyberbillp

    And if this passes, then they need to turn around and point out that the carriers are reading every bit sent from your phone trying to detect a browser they don’t like so they can sell you data twice. I refuse to justify the marketing idiots “T” word in this post. Cellular data usage has always been a given since the dawn of the cell phone. Branding data usage with the “T” word and reselling you your own a data second time is pure marketing, nothing else.

    And reading 100% of your traffic is the only way they can “detect” how you use your data. So they get a log file? *Gasp* Yet people bend over, spread cheeks and accept the $15-$30 charge for…… nothing. So here they read a log file. That’s NOTHING in comparision to sniffing to detect how I’m using my data with the sole purpose of charging me more money based on HOW I use my data. Not how much data, or when I use it, but HOW I use my data. It’s criminal to the nth degree. So this comes along and people make a stink? Chicken feed. Go after what matters I say.

    • The_ATL_Guy

      wow man you are delusional. Its bullshit propaganda like this that spreads. 
      I would ask you for any proof but I already know you have none. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/noirelion Noire Lion

        You always ask for proof from the consumer griping end- but for some reason you let the corporations off the hook- or encourage others to– is that your real world job?? Internet troll? Which pays you? SPrint? HTC? Samsung? the consortium?
        I really hope you are getting paid and aren’t just some guy in a trailer who doesn’t even own a phone. I wouldn’t be surprised at either eventuality-to be honest.

        • The_ATL_Guy

          I am sure there is a psychotropic medication that will help with you delusions and paranoia

  • Jaswinder Singh

    Lookout has an Carrier IQ detector..Try it out. Motorola Triumph has no CIQ but I am running but I am running 2.3.5

    • http://www.facebook.com/noirelion Noire Lion

      Lookout ciq detector only works on phones on Sprint, ATT and T-Mobile who actively use Carrier CIQ….
      If your on Verizon- Verizon doesnt use CIQ (Someone said their spyware was falcon something or other- give it a week- someone will out them too- )….
      So if your carrier is Sprint, ATT or Tmobile- use LOOKout ciq detect-
      HTC phones, samsung phones and Apple iphones on those carriers vulnerable or have it loaded- Apple says iOS 5 (iPhone 4s its removed from they say)…