The same Carrier IQ software that’s causing a stir on Android may be included in iOS, too. Well-known iOS hacker chpwn broke the story when he discovered references to Carrier IQ in versions of iOS up to version 3.1. The Verge independently confirmed this report and found references to Carrier IQ in /usr/bin/IQAgent. They also found an IQAgent log and other references to collector.sky.carrieriq.com on the device.
And it didn’t stop there. Intell from the MacRumors forum found a similar set of files in iOS 4, and chpwn chimed back in with news that he found traces of Carrier IQ in iOS 5. The iOS 5 references are apparently turned off and only turned on when the phone is in diagnostic mode. TUAW also confirmed these reports and suggests Carrier IQ’s presence is likely benign.
Carrier IQ is diagnostic software installed on Android and other mobile phones. It can’t be removed and, at least on Android, can’t be turned off without rooting a device. It’s causing a stir because on Android it apparently logs keystrokes, HTTPS requests and other personal information. The software then sends this information to Carrier IQ for analysis. Wireless carriers use this analysis to troubleshoot phone and network problems; but some consider this secretive sharing to be a huge invasion of a person’s privacy.
Update: chpwn reported back with more information on his blog. Carrier IQ is present in iOS 5 and may be tracking your phone number, carrier, country, active calls and your location (if location services are turned on). The software is disabled by default and turned on when diagnostic mode is enabled. Though log files were found on the phone, it appears none of this information was sent back to Carrier IQ.
This places iOS in the middle ground. It’s not as terible as Android which is sending data back to Carrier IQ, but not as good as Windows Phone, which is apparently the only platform without Carrier IQ.
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