European Regulators Want Answers on Carrier IQ

December 6, 2011 -

Watchdog groups and governments in Europe are taking a closer look at Carrier IQ's tracking software, to make sure those mobile phone vendors and operators who use it are not violating users' privacy or the law. The Bavarian State Office for Data Protection recently sent a letter to Apple asking it how it uses Carrier IQ's software.

"The most important thing to me is that users know how their data is used, and if that isn't the case there is a problem," said Thomas Kranig, president of the Bavarian data protection office. Kranig did not comment on the letter's contents, but tells PC World that he expects an answer from Apple within about two weeks.

"Normally, Apple employees in Germany have to talk to the U.S. before they can say anything, so we have to wait," said Kranig. "Being open and up-front with customers about how their personal data is being used is fundamental to maintaining their trust. It is obviously also vital that mobile manufacturers and operators comply with the Data Protection Act," ICO said in a statement.

The U.K. Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), an independent authoritative body set up to uphold data privacy for individuals, and the BEUC, the European Consumers' Organisation, also have concerns about Carrier IQ.

ICO said that it plans to contact mobile phone operators to see who in the region is using Carrier IQ or similar software on U.K. customers' handsets and what steps are being taken to make sure that there are no "privacy implications."

The BEUC says that clear rules on consent and mandatory privacy settings have to become the standard.

"Consumers are often shocked when they discover they are being so closely tracked, so more transparency is an urgent requirement," said Monique Goyens, Director General at BEUC, via an email to PC World.

BEUC hopes that an update to E.U. laws on data protection will address these issues. In the U.S. members of Congress have asked for details on the tracking software's operation.

Apple has said that it used the software in earlier version of its iOS devices but has dropped it with the release of iOS 5 and has not collected any personal information. Samsung Electronics says that its mobile phones sold in Europe don't use Carrier IQ's software. Vodafone and Orange said that they don't use the software at all.

Source: PC World


 
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Goth_SkunkIt is, if the suggestion involves taking something away from a product in order to make it better.07/01/2015 - 8:49pm
Andrew EisenOffering suggestions for improvement does not mean that the work in question is garbage or not doing fine.07/01/2015 - 8:21pm
Goth_SkunkIf their products were garbage, they wouldn't be as praiseworthy as they are.07/01/2015 - 8:08pm
Goth_SkunkAnd Andrew, I really don't think GRRM or the producers of the Game of Thrones TV show need anyone to tell them what to do to make their products better.They appear to be doing just fine on their own.07/01/2015 - 8:07pm
Goth_SkunkThe only thing not worth talking about, is what shouldn't be talked about.07/01/2015 - 7:47pm
Goth_Skunk@Infophile: It could be a reason, if I were wrong. I'm not.07/01/2015 - 7:44pm
PHX Corphttp://kotaku.com/steam-players-take-justice-into-their-own-hands-virtua-1715215648 anyone seen this, Steam Players Make Their Own Justice, Virtually Imprison Troll07/01/2015 - 7:17pm
Andrew EisenHeh, just had our (IGN's) journalistic integrity called into question over two typos on one of the Wikis (which are editable by the readers).07/01/2015 - 6:08pm
Matthew Wilson@tech this isnt the only stupid tax in recent months though. they were adding a commuter tax as well. if they continue doing crap like this, they will run in to the same issues as Detroit.07/01/2015 - 5:34pm
TechnogeekI guess we can give Chicago credit for diversifying their portfolio of corruption, although they've still got a lot of work before they retake that crown from Louisiana.07/01/2015 - 5:29pm
TechnogeekEh, cities abusing taxation power for their own game isn't really a "Detroit" thing so much as a "corrupt small town" thing.07/01/2015 - 5:29pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/07/chicago-netflix-customers-your-bill-is-about-to-up-9-percent/ Chicago wants to become the new Detroit so be it.07/01/2015 - 4:58pm
InfophileAnd also, she said "anyone," but she also said "probably." This means there's a subset for whom the "you shouldn't write it" doesn't apply.07/01/2015 - 4:47pm
InfophileGoing back a bit: "As I believe there is no justification, there is no reason for me to continue reading." - One reason to read might be to find out if you're wrong about there being no justification for it.07/01/2015 - 4:45pm
Andrew EisenRead it here: http://www.zenofdesign.com/getting-diversity-to-speak/07/01/2015 - 4:42pm
Andrew EisenFormer Bioware dev, Damion Schubert, offers an interesting thought on diversity in the industry. Not only is it important to have, it's important to make sure they feel comfortable offering their perspective.07/01/2015 - 4:40pm
Andrew EisenHeh, I did consider it!07/01/2015 - 4:37pm
Craig R.Aww, video gamer players wasn't an option for the poll?07/01/2015 - 4:33pm
KaylaKazeI think the problem here is certain people don't know what "shouldn't" means, even after it's been explained to them half a dozen times.07/01/2015 - 4:19pm
Andrew EisenWhat if creators heard our feedback, agreed with it and then... oh god... made a better show? The HORROR!!!07/01/2015 - 4:13pm
 

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