We, like most pinoys nowadays, can’t live without our smartphones. They’ve become an ubiquitous part of our daily lives, and we honestly don’t know what we’ll do if they’re taken away from us. It shocked us then, to know that the one thing we couldn’t live without was also pulling double duty as dirty, dirty snoop. A YouTube video from Android app developer Trevor Eckhart showed how software from a California based firm Carrier IQ recorded, in real-time, keys he pressed into a stock, unmodified HTC EVO handset even when the device was reset to factory default. Additionally, the device still used his geographical location even though he denied its use when he tried using Google. The secret app also managed to capture his search query (he was Googling hello world) even though he was using a page that uses the SSL, or secure sockets layer – which typically ensures privacy by encrypting data.
“We can see that Carrier IQ is querying these strings over my wireless network [with] no 3G connectivity and it is reading HTTPS,” Eckhart says.
For their part, Carrier IQ says that their software is purely for diagnostic purposes only, and does not capture key presses. “Our technology is not real time. It’s not constantly reporting back. It’s gathering information up and is usually transmitted in small doses,” Carrier IQ VP of Marketing Andrew Coward said.
While Eckhart used a HTC device to demonstrate what Carrier IQ does, he says that the software is prevalent in other Android smartphones and even in BlackBerries and Nokia made devices. We’ve linked the video below so you can see for yourself how Carrier IQ works.
Source: The Register