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Lots of newer phones are tracking you and you can't opt out!

Dave Farquhar

Experienced Member
Joined
May 23, 2010
Messages
456
Location
the midwest
If your phone is out of warranty, or you're willing to void the warranty, loading a third-party hacked Android version (Cyanogenmod is one of the more popular/common ones) on your phone is a good answer.

The day my warranty expires, I intend to load one on my phone. Unfortunately my phone is one of the few Android phones that Cyanogenmod doesn't support, but there are others. xda-developers.com is a good place to find out information on what's available for a particular model. Besides eliminating Carrier IQ, it eliminates other bloatware, and it's also possible that Cyanogenmod offers a newer version of Android than your carrier does. And if you load an overclockable kernel on it, you can throttle your CPU--even if you have no interest in overclocking--and get better battery life.
 

barythrin

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2005
Messages
6,256
Location
Texas
Agreed, although I'm not sure how much to trust every cooked rom out there either, but I usually (on a smart phone.. not blackberry since noone seems to care enough to try and write an OS for it) reflash mine with custom firmware. Usually just for fun but it also can get some nicer features or if it's fast enough load the next version of the OS despite the manufacturer not making it available for your phone model.

However I have no idea of course what's included in the modified versions, so it's quite possibly there too but at least it's usually rooted so you could go hunting for it.

It's strange though, I mean certainly plausible and probable that the company does have that stupid software and perhaps it IS keylogging, etc but I'm curious what evidence there is that it's actively sending the data and what controls are in place for the storage of the data. It's quite possible that the software is there as a debugging tool and only active in a live logging environment. Not that I trust phone companies not to do that, and I'm sure there is and has been some US laws designed to require that ability that are probably at stake here. I think both iOS AND Android were caught for their tagging pictures with GPS coordinates, plus plenty of other exploits out there (but most require the user to install them so mostly trojan malware).

Unfortunately while phones are getting much cooler and more useful like a computer, in come the reality and security checks required for all these folks always walking around with a functional computer doing computer things on their hips.
 

Lutiana

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 26, 2009
Messages
3,209
Location
Dublin, CA USA
Wait, the CEO of a company that spies on everyone is named Coward. Interesting co-incidence.
 

commodorejohn

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
3,162
Location
California, USA
It's strange though, I mean certainly plausible and probable that the company does have that stupid software and perhaps it IS keylogging, etc but I'm curious what evidence there is that it's actively sending the data and what controls are in place for the storage of the data. It's quite possible that the software is there as a debugging tool and only active in a live logging environment.
That's exactly what the company claimed, but according to the article the guy who discovered this refuted it with a demonstration of a (reflashed to OEM specs) phone logging and transmitting his every action, picked up by a packet sniffer.
 

Ole Juul

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
3,982
Location
Coalmont, BC, Canada
That's exactly what the company claimed, but according to the article the guy who discovered this refuted it with a demonstration of a (reflashed to OEM specs) phone logging and transmitting his every action, picked up by a packet sniffer.
Yep. Watch the video. These companies are above the law - or so they think.
 

barythrin

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2005
Messages
6,256
Location
Texas
the catch is that didn't look like packet sniffing output to me, but yes if it did that then of course. I just kinda didn't see the sniffing but did see the usb debug logs.. maybe I wasn't paying good enough attention to the vid.
 

Ole Juul

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
3,982
Location
Coalmont, BC, Canada
the catch is that didn't look like packet sniffing output to me, but yes if it did that then of course. I just kinda didn't see the sniffing but did see the usb debug logs.. maybe I wasn't paying good enough attention to the vid.
You are probably much more savvy than I on this stuff, and I'm just being too trusting in what I'm reading. I noted that ElReg puts a line through the words "packet sniffer" and corrects it to "debug logs". In the other article they did the same and substituted "Android debug options". So yeah, you're probably right on the money. Packet sniffer just sound more 133t. :)
 

Tor

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2011
Messages
984
Location
Norway/Japan
If you use Android the best option is in any case to move to Cyanogenmod. It's probably the best Android version out there anyway. It's certainly way better than what came pre-installed on my phone. Now it's some 3 times faster (yes, 3), uses less battery, and there's no Carrier IQ for sure (there probably wasn't in the original OS on my phone anyway, but still.))
S-E donated phones to them, Samsung gives them money, they're doing a very good job with that OS. There's nothing dodgy about it.

If you don't upgrade to Cyanogenmod there are still something you can do. At least you can detect if it's there or not. There's some info here:
http://mashable.com/2011/12/01/carrier-iq-faq/

-Tor
 
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