U.S. Senate weighs in on the Carrier IQ phone-snooping issue.
Carrier IQ has received a letter from the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary. This committee has a number of roles, and the privacy issues raised in this matter would fall under Internet privacy and possibly federal criminal law. Senator Al Franken drafted the letter as he is chairman of the Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law.
Given the software has been demonstrated to collect certain keystrokes, intercept SMS messages, and even record information in browsers that should be encrypted, it is easy to see how Internet privacy issues are raised. As Mathew Schwartz wrote Thursday, these actions might run afoul of wire tap laws as well.
Senator Franken has asked Carrier IQ to respond to a series of questions, and then ever so politely ended the letter with "I appreciate your prompt attention to this matter." Translated into English that means "you need to drop whatever you are doing and respond to this letter or face a Senatorial subpoena."
To make sure Carrier IQ understands this is not the usual government inquiry, Franken writes that the logging and transmitting of data "may violate federal privacy laws, including the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. This is potentially a serous matter."
The letter goes on to pose a number of questions, like are user's locations logged, is the content of inbound and outbound emails and SMS messages logged, are search queries logged, etc.?
Senator Franken wants to know what is transmitted off of the phone to carriers, Carrier IQ's servers, phone manufacturers, operating system providers, or third parties.
The deadline for answering this letter is December 14. Depending on what the answers are, Carrier IQ may satisfy the senate committee, but I don't think there are any answers that will satisfy users. At this point, what carrier or manufacturer would still want this software on their phones?
InformationWeek Elite 100Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
The UC Infrastructure TrapWorries about subpar networks tanking unified communications programs could be valid: Thirty-one percent of respondents have rolled capabilities out to less than 10% of users vs. 21% delivering UC to 76% or more. Is low uptake a result of strained infrastructures delivering poor performance?
. We've got a management crisis right now, and we've also got an engagement crisis. Could the two be linked? Tune in for the next installment of IT Life Radio, Wednesday May 20th at 3PM ET to find out.