If you have a modern Android, RIM, Symbian phone or even an iPhone, you may have some spyware on the device before you even received the device.  The software known as CarrierIQ and it is commercial spyware and it hides between you and the apps and the operating system, recording everything you do (even if you are using a “secure” app), though the company claims they are “the only embedded analytics company to support millions of devices simultaneously, we give Wireless Carriers and Handset Manufacturers unprecedented insight into their customers’ mobile experience.”.

It does not even matter if you bought the phone off contract.  As Eckhart’s YouTube video shows, the device grabs everything (your location to your web browsing addresses and passwords to the content of your text messages). Although the company denies that they are recording any keystrokes, Eckhart’s YouTube video shows that it is recording everything. Although the user may decline for an app’s permission to know where it is, the spyware ignores that rule and still receives the location of the device.

Currently Android is the most vulnerable device out there, with iPhones being behind though the spyware only works in diagnostic mode. RIM and Symbian phones are undetermined though is suspected to have the spyware.

As of right now there are testing apps that can help you identify if your Android phone is filled with software. For non-rooted Android devices, use  Voodoo Carrier IQ detector, though it is not perfect. The preferred way is to use a root application Logging Test App; note as it says, the device needs to be rooted for this to work.

As of right now there is no way of easily opting-out of this spyware on Android, as it is stored in the deepest level of the OS and it does not even tell the user that it is installed. The only option for Android is to root the device, download the logging test app as shown above and get the $1 Pro licence from the android market.  iPhones are off the hook as it can be turned off in the diagnostic logging section of the settings on the device.

Lets hope the EFF gets on this case.

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