Apple Named As Defendent In Carrier IQ Class Action Lawsuit

Apple Named As Defendent In Carrier IQ Class Action Lawsuit

Despite the fact that Apple allows users an easy way to opt out of the service, have removed it entirely from most of their phones and that Apple’s implementation of Carrier IQ tracks no personal information whatsoever, guess what? Cupertino’s been named in a class action lawsuit over the notorious keylogging software, along with a host of other hardware makers, all of whom are way more guilty.

The class action lawsuit has been lodged against Apple, HTC, Samsung, Motorola, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Carrier IQ.

At issue, of course, is Carrier IQ, the invasive “diagnostics” software / keylogger that logs pretty much everything you do on an Android phone.

The lawsuit reads:

The carriers and manufacturers last month were caught willfully violating customers’ privacy rights in direct violation of federal law. A technology blogger in Connecticut discovered last month that software designed and sold by California-based Carrier IQ, Inc. was secretly tracking personal and sensitive information of the cell phone users without the consent or knowledge of the users. On Nov. 30, 2011, the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary said in a letter to Carrier IQ that “these actions may violate federal privacy laws.” It added, “this is potentially a very serious matter.”

It’s worth noting that no hardware manufacturers seem to be responsible for Carrier IQ. Rather, it’s software that is installed on AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile phones at the carriers’ insistence. So HTC, Samsung and Motorola all being named is pretty bogus: they had nothing to do with the Carrier IQ software being installed on their phones.

Even so, Apple is especially blameless of any wrongdoing here. Not only does Carrier IQ not track iPhone users’ personal information, but what information it does track can be opted out of. In addition, Apple has already turned its back on Carrier IQ, promising to remove the software totally from all handsets out there. Still, there’s more potential money to be made from Apple than any other company on this list, so I suppose it’s not surprising that they have popped up as a defendant in a class action lawsuit. In fact, I’ll eat my half of this is the only one.

[via MacRumors]

  • Jordan Clay

    How can Apple be at fault here?  If I’m not mistaken, CarrierIQ was off by default and you had to Willingly/knowingly turn it on.   

    Edit: just read the the last paragraph better: “there’s more potential money to be made from Apple than any other company on this list” It is basically saying “McDonalds made me fat, but my iPhone gave me directions on how to get there and my Toyota got me there, I’ll sue all 3″ Gotta love lawyers

  • Chase Fegan

    “In fact, I’ll eat my half of this is the only one.”
    Huh?

  • SupaMac

    It’s spelled “Defendant,” JB.

  • Oleg Zieaev

    so every OS go this running and Apple is the _only_ defendant ? Huh ??? What about other makers and especially Tel companies, who requested this to be added into OS ? I guess Apple is local, so they would listen and it is easy for lawyers this way… How about trying your guns on other big shots like Samsung or HTC ??? (especially in growing Android user market) 

  • Hampus

    ehm….
    “The class action lawsuit has been lodged against Apple, HTC, Samsung, Motorola, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Carrier IQ.”

  • Hampus

    “Not only does Carrier IQ not track iPhone users’ personal information, but what information it does track can be opted out of.”
    Yea or more importantly, you have to opt in in the first place. They also have a proper privacy document detailing what the gather…

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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