Apple Pledges to Remove Carrier IQ ‘Keylogger’ from iOS

Apple has responded officially to claims of collecting data via Carrier IQ, a diagnostics tools embedded in iOS 5 and previous versions of the mobile operating system, stating that any data sent back with the user’s consent did not include any personal information.

In a statement provided to the WSJ-owned All Things D blog, Apple said, “We stopped supporting CarrierIQ 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,” the Cupertino tech giant said.

Following this week’s reports about iOS containing an actual keylogging tool, U.S. Senator Al Franken promptly responded with a letter addressing Carrier IQ CEO, Michael Lenhart, claiming that all companies using the diagnostics tool may be in direct violation of federal law.
In the letter, Franken agreed that Carrier IQ’s tool may be beneficial in providing usage and diagnostic information to carriers.

He also too knowledge that “carriers can modify Carrier IQ’s software.”

“But it appears that Carrier IQ’s software captures a broad swath of extremely sensitive information from users that would appear to have nothing to do with diagnostics—including who they are calling, the contents of the texts they are receiving, the contents of their searches, and the websites they visit,” he wrote.

Franken believes these actions may violate the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and maybe other federal privacy laws as well. “This is potentially a very serious matter,” he stressed.

Franken has demanded to have all his inquiries answered by December 14th, 2011.

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