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Apple: Carrier IQ still on iPhone 4, but we don’t read your e-mail and texts

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Jon Brodkin
Ars Technica
December 2, 2011

Apple is circulating a new statement to media outlets that seems to put to rest any fears about software tracking in the iPhone and iPad. “We stopped supporting Carrier IQ [a piece of software that tracks user activity] with iOS 5 in most of our products, and we’re going to remove it completely in a future software update,” the Apple statement says.

But we were a bit curious about what “most of our products” means in that context. In response to our question, Apple tells us there is only one device running iOS 5 that still runs Carrier IQ, and it’s the iPhone 4. Other devices running iOS 5, such as the iPad, the new iPhone 4S, and older iPhone models updated to iOS 5 have had Carrier IQ stripped out. But Apple says it has never used Carrier IQ to record keystrokes or personal messages.

Carrier IQ software is installed on smartphones to collect information, supposedly to help networks improve service. But the software has caused an uproar since research apparently showing that Carrier IQ can collect a variety of personal information and transmit it to phone providers. US Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) today demanded answers from Carrier IQ regarding whether the company is collecting and transmitting information including numbers dialed, the contents of text messages and e-mails, URLs of websites visited, search query histories, contact information from address books, and keystroke data.

Android phones have gotten most of the attention in the Carrier IQ controversy, and the likes of AT&T, Sprint, HTC, and Samsung have confirmed using the tracking software on their mobile phones. Samsung tells us it installs Carrier IQ at the behest of its carrier partners.

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This article was posted: Friday, December 2, 2011 at 4:46 am

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