If you’re worried about downloading rogue apps from the app store accidentally then this may come as a bit of a shock. Apparently, a company called Carrier IQ has been installing rootkit programs that log your data and usage patterns in many smartphones like iPhones and Android phones. This company is one of the leading providers of mobile Intelligence solutions in the wireless industry and have stated that while they do look into the device’s performance, they are not recording keystrokes or providing tracking tools. This is mainly a concern in the U.S right now, since mobiles are usually purchased on contract basis with carriers. The thing is however, Carrier IQ also work closely with handset manufacturers, so irrespective of whether you’ve bought the phone on contract, you may have this rootkit in your phone.
You want the result on the left
The solution is obviously to get rid of it, since none of us want any of our personal data to be shared by anyone. The solution is the simplest for the iPhone running iOS 5. Simply head to Settings > General > About > Diagnostics & Usage and select ‘Don’t send’. It’s a bit trickier on Android. For starters, you’ll have to install this app, ‘Logging Test App’. It’s not available on the app store and you’ll need a rooted Android phone. Once installed, click the ‘CIQ Checks’ button and in a short while, you get the result. If the white box is blank, this means you don’t have Carrier IQ. However, if you get a bunch of text then it’s present and the only way to get rid of it right now is to pay $1 for an Android market key and the app will ‘try’ to get rid of it. This is more of a 50-50 chance, which isn’t very reassuring, but that’s how it is. If you are paranoid about this then do give it a shot and holla in the comments on how it went.