Many of you have heard in the news that a hidden application, known as Carrier IQ, is stored in over 140 million smartphones. This includes Android, Blackberry and iOS devices. Android developer Trevor Eckhart has posted a video in YouTube showing users that the application simply logged almost everything performed on the device.

The 25-year old presented that Carrier IQ could record everything, including text messages, phone calls and web browsing history. Now you might think this is some sort of virus, however it is not.

The developers confirmed that the application is not a type of malware, but a service that can be sold to carriers and other services. Carrier IQ states that its purpose is “to make the phones work better.”

However, if the application is recording and “sending” data, it is considered illegal. This results to an immediate violation of the Wiretap act.



Is Carrier IQ on my Android device?

Even though the app is not on all phones, the Carrier IQ application may be still on your device. There are currently two methods to find out if it is in your device; one being Trevor Eckhart’s application, the other method requires installing a custom ROM which is most likely an AOSP (both require rooting).

Trevor Eckhart’s Logging Test App v7 found on XDA, gives the user access to perform “CIQ checks” which will simply check if the application is installed on your device.

Note: Usually, the carrier modified ROM’s such as HTC Sense and Motorola Blur are more likely to have the application, due to the capability and connection with its service.

This is why it is highly recommended that the user use an AOSP (Android Open Source Project) ROM, like CyanogenMod, because of the lack of service accessibility.

How to Remove Carrier IQ

Now you are probably wondering how you can remove the carnivorous beast. Well, just like checking to see if the application is stored on your device, this part also has two methods you can use.

  1. The first option is to install an AOSP ROM like the one mentioned earlier.
  2. The easier method is to install the PRO version of Eckhart’s application. Installing the PRO version means it will give the user the ability to remove Carrier IQ, or similarly named applications. Once in the upgraded app, hitting the menu will allow the user to “Remove CIQ”. The PRO version download is available on the Android Market for $0.99.

What do you think of Carrier IQ? Do you think it is safe to maintain, or just plain wrong? I would love to hear your comments.

[Via: LifeHacker]

[Image: Digital Trends]

Will G.
I am a huge fan of Android. Almost being with Android Authority for close to a year, it is really nice to see new, talented writers embrace the "Android Dream" with the group of writers we have. My role at Android Authority is currently as a writer, to accompany my past skills in editing and reviewing top products for this site. I now sport a Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
  • andouille

    This is definitely WRONG!!!

  • Doh

    Careful, I’ve been reading on the XDM forums that Eckhart’s application only works on certain models of phones and that many Epic 4G Epic Touch’s have been bricked by running the removal too. I’m waiting for something more official from the market before attempting remove.

  • Cdmarte1

    Illegal?? can we sue them!??

  • Why is there not a free app for Android ??

  • Pollino

    Given that there is an estimate 140 million phones with Carrier IQ installed, if everyone pay Ekhart 0.99 $ for his software, it will make a potential profit of 140 M $ for this guy. Who can certifies that this is not just a clever hoax ?

  • True

    Wanker! This does not work. Wait for the free removal tool guys!

  • Dsholliday

    class action coming to a town near you soon

  • Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

  • Rhyslewis

    $1 for an app for over 100Million Andriod phones .. I can see $100 Million dollars being easily made here.. it should be FREE!!!

    • Praveen Mittal

      Do you imagine Rebecca Black caring whether her iPhone has Carrier IQ or not?

      Most people (sheeple) have no idea about CarrierIQ. Very few (1%?) would go to trouble of removing it.

  • Spuncyco

    You idiots dont even get it, it is “them”. You will never be able to remove it because they will just re-install it remotely if they choose to do so. You are the same people that dont have a clue that there are millions of coffins being stored in strategic areas all over the united states. Google it FEMA coffins. There is more to all this than you will ever believe, thats why its so fucking easy for them to take control. Your all sheep. Most of you voted to have your own rights taken away, if you are for gun control you stripped yourself of your own rights. Real smart Mr. Lemming. This isnt some conspiracy theory either look it up, law enforcement is at the ground level of all communication devices. Thats how it works. If you get high, on whatever then you are a dangerous criminal terrorist. Ask the police they will tell you this is true. Freedom should be spelled freedumb. Just go home and watch tv like they want. Your government wouldnt lie to you, just ask anyone that was alive during ww2. They were all just doing their job. Nothing personal, now step into the showers move along.

  • John Salla

    .I purchased the app mentioned and ran the app. There is a function for removal of the CIQ but when you use that function you get a message that the CIQ will only be removed if you donate and you are referred to www.