With the entire recent buzz around Carrier IQ, Andrew Coward, Carrier IQ VP of marketing, went public in a recent interview with The Register, to acknowledge that the application which received quite a lot of press recently, does indeed log keystrokes, intercept text messages and gather geographic data.
What he also tried to make very clear was the fact that the vast majority of the information collected is discarded on the spot; being so, it shouldn’t and it doesn’t constitute a risk for privacy. He used the following metaphor to explain: “We’re on a fishing boat out at sea and we’re catching fish that are too small and they go back in. And they go back in for two reasons: One, the holes in the net doesn’t catch small fish, i.e. the filtering, and/or the fish is the wrong type and it gets thrown out of the boat, hopefully while it’s still alive.”
The information which is recorded and retained is limited to those bits “that carry proprietary tags” which identify “all transmissions that could be used to populate analytic data, including some that may be considered sensitive”. There definitely may be reports of dropped calls or failed text message deliveries but the contents of the SMS are “never stored and never transmitted”.
The reason for logging key taps was also explained: when talking to a tech support rep, a user might be asked to tap in a special code to trigger the upload of diagnostic data to Carrier IQ’s system. Only special keystrokes are being monitored.
If you want to read more details and have a more in-depth look at the VP’s stance, as well as some technical bits, head over to the source link to find out more.