Friday, September 2, 2011

HTC Sneaks Spying App into Android 2.3.4 Phones

Looks like HTC has quietly slipped its users a spying app that tracks an alarming amount of user behavior and sends that data off to itself and perhaps others via a mysterious service in the cloud. The snooping app came nestled with the 2.3.4 Android update pushed out to some of its smartphones such as the Sensation 4G and EVO 4G.

TrevE and Team Synergy of the InfectedROM site (and XDA fame), discovered the app. HTC includes an application called Carrier IQ and Carrier IQ recently added a user-behavior logging feature called IQ Insight Experience Manager.

According to the Carrier IQ website: "IQ Insight Experience Manager uses data directly from the mobile phone itself to give a precise view of how users interact with both their phones and the services delivered through them, even if the phone is not communicating with the network. ... Identify exactly how your customers interact with services and which ones they use. See which content they consume, even offline."

But wait there's more. Turns out that after HTC collects these stats, CIQ isn't the only app with access to them.


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