The tech world is up in arms this week about Carrier IQ, the mobile data logging software that comes pre-installed (and rather well hidden) on an increasingly huge number of handsets. It’s still entirely unclear as to what’s being logged and, more importantly, what (if anything) is being sent off the handset — but one thing’s for sure: people don’t like it.
As the controversy swells, companies are rushing to distance themselves from the matter. The latest ones looking to get on the right side of the air gap? Apple.
We stopped supporting CarrierIQ with iOS 5 in most of our products and will remove it completely in a future software update. With any diagnostic data sent to Apple, customers must actively opt-in to share this information, and if they do, the data is sent in an anonymous and encrypted form and does not include any personal information. We never recorded keystrokes, messages or any other personal information for diagnostic data and have no plans to ever do so.
So yes, Apple supported Carrier IQ at some point. But not anymore, as of iOS 5. At least, not with most of their products. Like the rest of the lot, however, they’re assuring everyone that no keystrokes, messages, or identifiable bits were transmitted. From what researchers have found so far (and from what Apple claims above), Carrier IQ was only called in to play on iOS devices if you manually turned on the diagnostics option (which, prior to iOS 5, was buried pretty deep in the settings. Beginning with iOS 5, it’s offered up during the initial device setup.)
Which ones do still support it, even with iOS 5? Your guess is as good as ours — at least, until the security researchers swarming around this topic finish tearing apart every packet they can wrap their hands around.
You can pore over our full coverage of Carrier IQ here.