Here’s a headline the world’s 400 million-plus users of smartphones don’t want to read: “Your smartphone is probably spying on you.”
The popular blog Talking Points Memo (TPM) has done yeoman’s work in keeping on top of this shocking story.
The culprit is a inconspicuous piece of code called Carrier IQ.
Last month, several online technology news sources revealed the existence of what TPM calls “the whopper of all real-life tech conspiracies.” The little piece of surveillance software remotely and real-time tracks the location of users, as well as every keystroke, every text message, and every word or phrase searched using the device’s browser. All of this is recorded without even the tacit consent of users. The smartphone companies responsible for burying this noxious bit of programming in their firmware include all the biggies: iPhone, Android, Nokia, and Blackberry.
As shocking (and illegal — more on that later) as this revelation is, there is an aspect of the story that is still a mystery and could be more unsettling than the discovery of the code’s existence. The as yet unanswered question: Who is gathering and collecting this crucial and personal user data?
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