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Timothy B. Lee

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Posted at 01:43 PM ET, 12/01/2011

Sen. Franken asks Carrier IQ for answers


Sen. Al Franken (Nicholas Kamm - AFP/Getty Images)
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) has sent a letter to Carrier IQ asking the company to explain what its software records are and what they contain, how files are transmitted, and how the data is protected.

Carrier IQ, an analytics firm, is at the center of a controversy after researcher Trevor Eckhart published research indicating that the program was installed on millions of phones and was recording keylog and other information. It’s not clear how much of the data is being transmitted and to whom.

Mira Woods, spokeswoman for Carrier IQ said that the company is currently talking to Eckhart and pointed to a company statement on what it does and does not collect.

“Consumers need to know that their safety and privacy are being protected by the companies they trust with their sensitive information,” said Franken in a statement. “The revelation that the locations and other sensitive data of millions of Americans are being secretly recorded and possibly transmitted is deeply troubling. This news underscores the need for Congress to act swiftly to protect the location information and private, sensitive information of consumers. But right now, Carrier IQ has a lot of questions to answer.”

In his letter to the company he also asked Carrier IQ to explain the seeming contradiction between its own statements saying they do not record keystrokes or provide tracking tools.

He said that some of the company’s actions may violate federal privacy laws and is “potentially a very serious matter.”

Franken, who has made mobile privacy a priority, has asked the company to respond to his questions by Dec. 14.

By  |  01:43 PM ET, 12/01/2011

Tags:  privacy

 
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