Speculation arose last night that in addition to Android using Carrier IQ to track users’ actions, iOS also had it implemented. Today, Apple has released an official statement for clarification:
“We stopped supporting Carrier IQ with iOS 5 in most of our products and will remove it completely in a future software update. With any diagnostic data sent to Apple, customers must actively opt-in to share this information, and if they do, the data is sent in an anonymous and encrypted form and does not include any personal information. We never recorded keystrokes, messages or any other personal information for diagnostic data and have no plans to ever do so.”
This means that yes, Apple did use Carrier IQ at one point but no longer does, and even when it did, there was none of that stalking going on as seen in demonstrations of the software on Android.
If you haven’t been following along with the Carrier IQ saga, it all started just a few days ago when developer Trevor Eckhart uploaded a YouTube video showing that Carrier IQ is installed on nearly all well-known Android smartphones. It alarmingly stores data for every single action a user takes on their phone, even if it’s visiting an encrypted website or dialing a phone number. Shortly after this report, hacker chpwn discovered references to Carrier IQ in iOS as well.
Though we now have confirmation from Apple that it does not support Carrier IQ, there is still a lot of questions about Carrier IQ on Android that remain unanswered.