Hidden Rootkit Software Fuels Privacy Debate
PERSONAL PRIVACYDecember 1, 2011
Several programmers have discovered a hidden software application found on Android-based HTC phones that logs a wide range of detailed information about a user's activities, Network World reports, prompting Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) to demand answers from the software maker. The software is called CarrierIQ and has been termed by one expert as a "classic rootkit" that lets carriers locate and correct performance issues on the cell phones but can also monitor key presses, locations and received messages of its users without notification. Another expert has provided additional context about the software maker and application. According to the report, there is no evidence that carriers are analyzing the data. Writing for Forbes, Tim Worstall opines that this software is "almost certainly illegal under EU data protection and privacy law" and warns of the software's potential vulnerability. "I think the part that worries me the most is, well, how hard is it to hack into this?"