[video=youtube_share;T17XQI_AYNo]http-~~-//youtu.be/T17XQI_AYNoAT&T Inc., Sprint Nextel Corp., Apple Inc. and T-Mobile USA were sued by mobile phone customers who claim that Carrier IQ Inc. tracking software installed on their phones violates U.S. wiretapping and computer fraud laws.The lawsuit cites a YouTube report by a technology blogger that purported to show that Carrier IQ software collects information on phone users’ locations, applications and Web browsing and even the keys they press. Four consumers filed a complaint yesterday in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, seeking to block the carriers and phone makers from using the software.
Carrier IQ software logs user activity and runs in the background of mobile devices. After the YouTube report, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee contacted the company seeking information and alleging that the software may violate federal privacy laws, according to a copy of the complaint supplied by David Straite, an attorney for the plaintiffs. The filing of the lawsuit couldn’t be confirmed yesterday through electronic court records.
Apple, Motorola, and three major wireless carriers are the latest to face a class-action lawsuit over a smartphone privacy scandal, with Carrier IQ, HTC, and Samsung also facing allegations that they spy on users with software installed on smartphones. While Carrier IQ makes the software, it is installed on phones manufactured by hardware companies and sold by carriers, providing plenty of targets for lawsuits.
We noted the existence of two class-action lawsuits targeting Carrier IQ, HTC, and Samsung last week. Another was filed in US District Court in Delaware Friday against a bigger roster including Carrier IQ, AT&T, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile USA, HTC, Apple, Samsung, and Motorola Mobility. Filed on behalf of four plaintiffs who are iPhone, HTC, and Samsung phone users and also customers of AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, the suit notes that "defendants Samsung, Apple, Motorola, and HTC pre-install Carrier IQ software on cell phones used by its customers on the AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint networks."