Essay on Carrier IQ - Humanities 432

Submitted By ethelynholt
Words: 3475
Pages: 14

Carrier IQ
Humanities 432
5 February 2012 Carrier IQ is software that is installed in cell phones. The software stores data into a database; data stored is the keystrokes made by the user. There are different types of keystrokes ranging from texting, saving data, and making and receiving phone calls. The software does not necessarily know the exact information that is being texted, but sees the data that is being saved, or the phone numbers that are being used in the phone calls being made and the information is encrypted in letters and numbers. Creators of Carrier IQ just want to know how people use their phone and what people prefer on phones such as new features so future mobile devices will become more user friendly and more relevant to the users life compared to the older models. “The privacy news of the week has been the discovery of Carrier IQ, a “keystroke-sniffing” software program installed on over 100 million phones that logs everything a phone user does.” (Hill, 2011) The developer of Carrier IQ is “Rootkit.” “A piece of keystroke-sniffing software called Carrier IQ has been embedded so deeply in millions of HTC and Samsung-built Android devices that it’s tough to spot and nearly impossible to remove…” (Greenberg, 2011). There are other developers out there that have played around with Carrier IQ to see what its function are. One developer named k0nane, an Android and Windows Mobile developer, found triggers that can activate the Carrier IQ program on both HTC and Samsung phones.
Carrier IQ is a surveillance type of software in a sense; there are movies that have been created that deal with the same function. The movie “Eagle Eye” is a good example because it deals with surveillance. “Jerry and Rachel are two strangers thrown together by a mysterious phone call from a woman they have never met. Threatening their lives and family, she pushes Jerry and Rachel into a series of increasingly dangerous situations, using the technology of everyday life to track and control their every move.” (Caruso, 2008) The Eagle Eye was created to keep surveillance around the world to help keep it safe. The program ended up having plans to take over. Carrier IQ relates to Eagle Eye in a surveillance type of technology because they coincide. With carrier IQ, the program will know what the user will be doing the whole time they are using their phone. The program will trigger once the phone is turned on and records every keystroke that will occur until the phone is turned off. Just like the movie Eagle Eye, the software knew everything Jerry and Rachel did because it made them do it. For example, Jerry was held questioned by the FBI in an interview room and Eagle Eye was able to help him escape by telling him what to do. Whenever he tried doing something else, he would get caught because Eagle Eye knew everything.
Since this software was founded in 2005, this could be one of many reasons why smartphones and PDAs are very popular. The main purpose of this software is to track what individuals do on their mobile devices and to make new cell phones more relevant from the data that has been collected. From what I remember, Blackberries and PDAs were the best phones in 2005 and now IPhones (Fuld, 2010) and Android (Riley, 2010) phones are leading the market in sales. This software could have been one of the reasons why all smartphones are the leading sellers on the market today. As far as economic issues with Carrier IQ, the software will fluctuate as it depends on how the people react due to the privacy violation. The demand for Carrier IQ software depends on cell phone carriers. Phone carriers are the ones who decide on how many smart phones they want the software to be installed in based on the demand of the phones.
The development of mobile phones has its advantages and disadvantages. The original idea for the smart phone is to help communication between people to be fast and easy. The innovative technology