Apple was named with T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T, HTC, Samsung and Motorola in a class action lawsuit on Monday. Sianni & Straite of Wilmington of Delaware and two other law firms from New Jersey (Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy of Edison and Keefe Bartels of Red Bank) filed the lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in the District of Delaware. The lawsuit alleges Apple and other companies committed an "unprecedented breach of the digital privacy rights of 150 million cell phone users.”
The class action lawsuit is in response to the Carrier IQ software installed in various cell phones that logs the keystrokes, texts and geographic data of its users. Apple admitted using the diagnostics tool in the past, but said they never recorded "personal information for diagnostic data and have no plans to ever do so.” Apple also promised to remove the software from all their devices in a future firmware update.
25-year-old Trevor Eckhart discovered a "rootkit" hidden in various Android handsets that logs information like text messages, location and encrypted web searches. The company behind the software, Carrier IQ, claims their technology is an innocent diagnostics tool that doesn't record keystrokes or illegally track users. However, Eckhart's YouTube video below seems to suggest otherwise. On Thursday, Apple joined several other carriers and manufacturers in coming clean about using the software. Here is their statement in full (via All Things D):
“We stopped supporting Carrier IQ 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.”