Apple, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile USA sued over alleged Carrier IQ use

“AT&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,” Karen Gullo reports for Bloomberg.

“Four consumers filed a complaint yesterday in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, seeking to block the carriers and phone makers from using the software,” Gullo reports. “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.”

Gullo reports, “The customers who sued seek compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of all others whose devices contain the so- called rootkit software from Mountain View, California-based Carrier IQ, which is also named as a defendant in the suit… Violations of the federal wiretap laws, which prohibit willful interception of wire or electronic communication, can result in damages of $100 a day per violation, according to the complaint.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It seems like quite the stretch to include Apple since users of Apple products had to expressly approve sharing their info. In other words, Apple device users didn’t need a court to block the use of the software, their device came with it “blocked” and, even if they had enabled it, users always had the ability to turn it off at will.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Phone ‘rootkit’ maker Carrier IQ may have violated U.S. federal wiretap law in millions of cases – December 4, 2011
Carrier IQ is misunderstood, not evil – December 3, 2011
U.S. Congress Democrat Markey calls for FTC investigation of Carrier IQ software – December 3, 2011
Apple will remove Carrier IQ; how to block it on your iPhone now – December 2, 2011
U.S. Senator Al Franken wants answers from companies who install Carrier IQ software on smartphones – December 1, 2011
Senator Al Franken! Paging Senator Al Franken! – December 1, 2011
Video shows secret software on millions of Android, BlackBerry, and Nokia phones logging everything you do – November 30, 2011

17 Comments

    1. More like “why the hell not”? When these suits are filed, the plaintiffs stretch the net as wide as possible and ask for as much as possible, knowing they can narrow the scope later.

      ——RM

      1. As soon as apple proves that the setup process in EVERY FRIGGIN SINGLE iDevice INFORMS YOU and REQUIRES YOUR APPROVAL before sending diagnostics data, they win.

        The others will not be so fortunate.

    2. There is no other sensible way. Since even when ‘diagnostics’ is on, the version of CarrierIQ software (which is custom-built) for Apple does not record keystrokes, electronic mails and whatever else really privacy-related.

  1. From what planet is apple? Why is it that nobody categorize apple in their right place? Here they are sue them with some CARRIERS while apple is not a carrier.
    So if that is because they build phones, why aren’t they suing Samsung, htc and the others?

    It is the Sam story why they talk about market share, they compare Apple’s iPhone against an OS (android) and not against other phones.

    Is this some kind of boycot against apple?

    1. a agree that people always seem to pick on apple.

      on a lighter aside maybe they think by the time they get through the courts (might be years) the others will be gone like Palm? Motorolas being bought out, Rim is falling apart (they supposedly don’t use carrier IQ but I’m using them as an example of failing phone companies) and HTC issued a profit warning last quarter…

    2. It’s because with the iPhone, Apple obtains the diagnostics. With Android makers, the carrier is putting it on and receiving the diagnostics. The big difference is that on Android the software is installed running by default, with no way to disable it. With Apple you need to give permission first, and at any time you can switch it off. Big difference in my book.
      PS- I predicted very quick class action suits on the day this story broke last week, but I didn’t envision Apple being lumped in. I have to think that they will get peeled off during trial, or suffer far fewer consequences.

  2. Fscking lawyers. The key to class action suits is being first to file. Second to file is rolled into the first.

    So it doesn’t matter what is filed as long as they are first. They can always come back and amend the filing.

    This isn’t about justice, it’s about making lawyers money.

    Their “clients” will get coupons, the lawyers will get the cash. I’d like to see lawyers fees limited to 40% of the cash payout. Redeemable coupons have no value, except and until you buy something from the dependent. But that means coming out of pocket for the client.

  3. What the iPhone sends has no relevance in this case, any more than the location issue was earlier. I’ve looked at what my phone transmits, and it’s all anonymous, and I have no problem with Apple having it. One listing was as a result of an app crash, and as I want my phone’s OS to improve over time, I want Apple to have the information to allow that to happen.

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