02
Dec
carrierIQ

We all knew it was going to happen - the first lawsuits are being filed against Carrier IQ and its data-stealing nature. Not only is CIQ getting hit with a suit, but HTC and Samsung are also being thrown into the ring since many of their phones support the software.

The suit claims that Carrier IQ is in violation of the Federal Wiretap Act, which makes intercepting "oral, wire, or electronic communications" illegal. The punishment isn't a light one, either - $100 per day for every incident; that could potentially cost Sammy and HTC millions of dollars.

Information is just now becoming available about the suit, but we'll make sure to keep you posted as more details become available.

This is probably the first of many suits to come; after all, not a single carrier is involved... yet.

Update: Another class action lawsuit naming Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, Motorola, and Apple in addition to HTC, Samsung, and CarrierIQ surfaced hours after this one.

[Via: Paid Content]

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Adam

    I don't know how I feel about this. I don't want them wiretapping our phones obviously and that was an extremely poor decision for every company involved. But what does suing them actually do for us as consumers beyond getting the software removed?

    • http://www.sprintsux.com HTC EVO/Ex Sprint Customer

      So not suing them- no one going to jail- is gonna make it all better for ya?
      Dude... somebody has been raping you- and you are just cool with it?
      Your bank account, taxes, everything you ever typed... everything you ever did with your damned phone for years potentially? are you just completely out of it? Your apathy is so much scarier because there are millions of people just as creepy clueless as you- and these companies are counting on you not doing a damned thing. And you'll just oblige them and stumble on- in a daze.

      • Adam

        It helps to not be incredibly paranoid.

        • Bryan

          I want it off the phone.. and their should be a penalty.. but they are just going to charge the loss right back to us with higher costs of phones or higher payment plans... we all know it will happen

  • http://www.slipshft.com Slipshft

    I gets them to hide the software better...

  • Sleepin in CA

    Sign me up. I want in on this class-action. They need to stop with all this spy bullshit. Any info on who is handling the suit? I would definitely like to be named as a plaintiff.

  • jdm4u

    So if we have a Samsung or HTC phone, do we get a cut?

  • Shawn

    So.. you want to sign up to sue someone that had nothing to do with the software being written, installed and used to spy on your activity in the first place?
    People really need to read up on what CarrierIQ is. It's a company that develops software to work on phones, FOR CARRIERS. Eg: they don't write the software for HTC or Samsung, they write it for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile.. etc..
    If you want to sign up for any lawsuit, how about signing up for the one that goes after the people that asked to have the software developed, installed it on their network devices, and uses it to actually do the spying.

    • jonathan3579

      You honestly believe that the manufacturers had NOTHING to do with the software written? Who the hell writes it then? I suppose the carriers are the people responsible for our updates, well, according to your notion anyway. I believe the stupidity that says the manufacturers had no "dirty hands" is just what the carriers want us to believe. They are all guilty and all need to pony up. End of story.

      • http://www.sprintsux.com HTC EVO/Ex Sprint Customer

        Exactly right. Jonathan3579....-But who are these people writing here- that are "on the fence"?
        What the hell!?
        This is one of the most wicked things a business has done. I read 150 million of us have been at risk for years!
        Treve on XDA has been telling us for months and they tried to silence him with lawyers and "Cease and Desist" letters and corporate bullying.
        I've never been involved in a lawsuit- but I'm joining this one- I'll see if I can get a local lawyer to sign me and my wife and daughter onto it. I'm so mad... I'm stunned any business would even contemplate some rotten stuff like this let alone actually write code and deploy on almost 150 million phones and counting.
        Unbelievable.

        • Bryan

          I agree that the carriers involved need to be sued (Rogers in canada has so far said they never used such software in any of their phones).. but you cant assume that the manufacureres are involved until its proven.

          Example... SE makes an update, sends it to rogers.. Rogers opens the code and puts their logo on it so their name apears on start up and everything... SE dosnt do it for them... the same could be for carrierIQ.
          Apple on the other hand has so much control they had to know it was there.

  • Aceofhearts24

    I'm not sure I agree with Samsung and HTC getting hit with this lawsuit... I was under the impression that the carriers were the ones that opted to have the software monitor their customers not the manufacturers. I verizon has HTC and Sammy phones but they don't have Carrier IQ.

    Besides that the lawsuit is great. It warns other potential companies from using something similar to get a hold of our personal data. It is ridiculous that this occurs and scary at the same time. Thank God for the independent developers (XDA) that provide us with a way out and look out for us.

  • brad kalinoski

    Phone today, $200, after this suit. Phone is $300. Even if its a drop in the bucket for these corporations, and they do have millions set aside for lawsuits, it will just give them a reason to raise the prices, once again. For an unlocked phone, its now upwards of $700. Its getting ridiculous. Now this. I do not support the use of CIQ, but Lawsuits, basically isnt really going to do anything but raise prices and possibly slow the process of decent R/D.

    • Adam

      I disagree about this raising prices. They have and will always charge what consumers will pay. The success of this lawsuit will have no impact on it.

  • foobar

    I smell Apple behind it. Otherwise why there is no Apple as a subject of the lawsuit as iPhone is infected too?

  • Dejinshathe

    No-one's in love with the idea of bloatware that collects & shares our private information. The perpetrators should be punished and the victims recompensed. But if you think about it, you know where that compensation money is coming from: the slight increase in the cost of your next phone.
    For those of us outside the US, who buy HTC and Samsung, but who don't deal with Sprint, AT&T etc, the issue of who cops this suit and who doesn't is an interesting one. We win nothing, if the manufacturers are indeed innocent, but are forced to pay millions.

  • charmanderAtemysoup

    how are you guys so blind?

    HTC and Samsung should pay.

    why?

    because they knowingly allow this infringement to occur, it is THEIR HARDWARE, they WANTED IT LOADED ON THERE and they didnt tell you.

    And why so much money? so that they wont do it again in the future!(lightly)

    • Uri

      They wanted?, THEY, they specifically said, Carrier IQ go ahead install your software on our phones? not the carriers who install their own bloatware, but the manufacturers.
      You know why they didn't tell you? because of the paranoid masses who think they are important enough that companies will actually spy on them and afterwards sell the collected info to "shady" individuals.
      OMG! they surely want to know wtf anyone did after leaving work, or who you text, or who you called! c'mon! ffs...
      Have they been blackmailed? no, have they been charged with something they didn't buy? NO... etc.. etc.. etc.

      • a user

        sorry but this is bullshit.
        it doesn't matter that the carriers wanted this software to be installed. htc did it.

        you are still guilty if you do something wrong on demand of someone else.

        obviously they first must to sue the one who installed it to be able to prove then that it was on the demand of the carriers, and then sue them.

        • http://profiles.google.com/ISantop Ian

          If AT&T told Samsung "Put this software on all of the phones you sell to us, or we won't buy", who is Samsung to say no?

  • Jubba

    Not sure, but I am pretty sure HTC/Sammy are at least partially responsible. From what I understand the software is ingrained into the OS at the kernel level and it was put there by HTC/Sammy at the Carriers request.

    If I want to rob a bank and talk you into doing it for me and we get caught I doubt the cops would let you off the hook just because it was me who wanted you to do it.

  • Mechbolt

    Way too soon for a lawsuit, not that I agree with one to begin with. But, at this point we don't have all the facts on what the CIQ software is really doing. It's logging info, but where to and for how long? Is there any proof yet that any of that info is transmitted off the phone?

    See this: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-57335715-281/how-carrier-iq-was-wrongly-accused-of-keylogging/

    • Adam

      Did that article author really refer to what people are doing to Carrier IQ as "lynching"? Really? Were holocaust references too much for him or what?

      • http://www.sprintsux.com HTC EVO/Ex Sprint Customer

        Some people are really either too stupid actually understand whats happened or so apathetic about anything- that nothing matters.
        The people whining about our phone prices going up (when the companies make what 80% profit??!!)... -whining because we are outraged to have been violated in this totally- "OMG I can't believe this"- way- are the most interesting though. They will continue to pay these slimy companies that have just raped them- and are mad at the rest of us who don't like being raped- wanting justice (or the damned law to be complied with!).
        I'd say unbelievable... but theres getting to be a pervasively tolerated verbal idiocy being spouted in public on the web, and throughout our society...with no repercussions that wasnt around 20 years ago. Like its publicly acceptable to mouth the most outrageous stupidity.
        Go figure?

        • http://profiles.google.com/ISantop Ian

          It's not idiocy, it's making sure the people who are actually responsible for this pay, so that they don't go around and do it again.

  • p51d007

    The ONLY person(s) that win in a class action suit is the law firm.
    This is a carrier issue, not much of a manufacturer issue. From what I have read, the carriers might place it on the device at the REQUEST of the carrier the phone has the logo on, but, if you get one direct from a manufacturer, unbranded, it won't be installed.

  • http://www.sprintsux.com HTC EVO/Ex Sprint Customer

    HTC, Sprint (my EX-carrier) and Carrier IQ Corp- are equally guilty. I love my HTC Evo 4g. But I have had to root it and get the evil software that exposed me and my entire family's identities to basically anyone on the web/phone/hack universe.

    I disagree strenuously with the people saying it's magically no ones fault that these corporations broke the law! Left me hanging in the wind! It's an affront to say anything of the sort. How DARE they!
    I own 3 HTC devices- the last anyone in my family or friends circle- that I can convince- will ever purchase. And if Samsung has done this as well -they too will not get any business from my family friends circle either. This is criminally outrageous and the lawsuit is just the beginning. I want Congressional hearing and people to go to JAIL.
    You people with no concept of the Constitution, you people with no identity to steal... keep the noise down. Grownups are talking!
    I can't stand Verizon... but they were ethical enough not to do this crap. They are going to be my carrier going forward and I'll research and find out what phone manufacturer had no part of this and purchase from them. I'll be mindful of HTC, Samsung, Apple and Sprint, and whoever else had a part in this - and they get no more of my peoples' business. This isn't some puff of wind episode with no consequences- these companies need serious punitive actions taken against them and jail time.

    • CalmMind

      You don't even know yet what they collected and what they could collect from a phone. You really need to cover your family in tinfoil and move up into the mountains. Don't forget to use soup cans attached with string to communicate. Obviously they have all the info on you and it's just a matter of time before the black helicopters swoop down and pick your family up. Because they have the software to track every single person's movements who owns a cellphone. Even the NSA can handle that information load. I love you nuts who scream about the Constitution being violated every day.

  • http://www.sprintsux.com HTC EVO/Ex Sprint Customer

    This is an affront to the business/customer relationship that cannot be forgiven. These companies need to pay for breaking our laws and completely going over the line technically and morally exposing so many millions of customers to god knows what kind of identity theft.
    I make a pledge never to use an HTC phone(or if they change names- or splinter, or open relationships with other companies), Sprint and all the rest that I will investigate using tech webs and news media- will never get another dollar from me and mine. If we don't make a stand here- with something as raw evil as this- where will we take a stand? What will be next. These companies are out of damned control. And its long past time to put their feet to the fire and some handcuffs on the criminals that put this into existence.
    These companies do not get to do us any way they please... and those that are not bothered by this unreal behavior are welcome to keep doing business with these unethical companies.
    Vote with your wallet and dont forget who screwed us over- ever.

    • Freak4Dell

      Sooo...what phones will you buy, then? It seems that EVERY smartphone manufacturer has used this crap on some of their phones.

      I haven't heard anything from LG, and I there are smaller manufacturers that I haven't heard anything from, like Huawei, Pantech, and Dell. If you want to limit yourself to those slim options, then more power to you, I guess.

  • Freak4Dell

    What the hell is up with the carriers not being named in the suit? The frontrunners in this are clearly the carriers. The manufacturers should pay the consequence for playing along, but the carriers should be getting the most heat (along with the CarrierIQ organization).

  • Taylor

    Obviously the CARRIERS are majorly at fault here. Why? Because the carriers REQUEST CarrierIQ on their phones. If it's solely the manufacturers fault then WHY ISN'T Verizon included in this list? Verizon did NOT request the manufacturers (HTC, Samsung, etc) to put the CarrierIQ on their phones. If it were solely the manufacturers fault, then why aren't HTC and Samsung phones on the Verizon network affected? THINK ABOUT IT FOLKS!

  • http://HTCSPRINTANDCARRIERIQSUCKBALLS!!!.com Former Sprint customer

    To the guy saying "you don't know what info they collected blah blah blah"...read this and shut up fool....http://www.xda-developers.com/android/the-storm-is-not-over-yet-lets-talk-about-ciq/
    "these are not the droids you are looking for"- your jedi mindtrick only works in the movies dude.
    CarrierIQ says this- but the real answer is this:
    - CarrierIQ says:Does not record your keystrokes. – Yes, it does
    - CarrierIQ says:Does not provide tracking tools. – Being able to pin point you by signal and geographical coordinates every time your device polls for location…. Yes, it does
    - CarrierIQ says:Does not inspect or report on the content of your communications, such as the content of emails and SMSs. – Yes, it does that and more…
    - CarrierIQ says:Does not provide real-time data reporting to any customer. – Yes, it does (so as long as the device has signal)
    - CarrierIQ says:Finally, we do not sell CarrierIQ data to third parties. – Prove it

    You don't need to be a developer or programmer to watch in realtime- the CIQ software Sprint and HTC colluded together and put on my phones(3EVO4g Family plan)... you can watch it happening! And these unclever trailer park denizens denying these corps have harmed us- can even "get it"...
    Try looking up treves actual video of the way the software logs your every damned keystroke- how it writes out in plain text stuff you typed into a secure browser- since is rootkitted onto our phones- any damned thing typed into anywhere is immediately recorded---
    but dont listen to me. Watch the developer who shed all the light on this whole slimy bag of badness (the guy they tried to pull the corporate bully move on- but backed of when the whole Android community jumped down their throats!)....
    dont listen to me see for your damnedself...and at the end of your viewing TrevE's video- I want an apology- you trolling for the corporations? At least I hope your getting paid to be pimped...(but I doubt it..ur just some random guy mouthing platitudes about how the corps mean us consumers no harm even as blatant evidence slaps you upside your cerebrum... but your not alone- theres millions of tools just like you- so take consolation from that buddy...)
    Heres the link to the treve video exposing these slimebags on Youtube.......link here.....: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T17XQI_AYNo
    or google these search terms: inyoutube search:::::: android trevoreckhart ciq

  • Lukk

    This is gonna be legendary.

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