Samsung and HTC Sued Over Carrier IQ Issues

Posted Dec 2, 2011

Samsung, HTC, and Carrier IQ has been sued for violating a federal wiretapping statute. Currently there is controversy surrounding an issue about Carrier IQ using tracking software on mobile devices. The class action lawsuits have been filed in Chicago and St. Louis. The class action lawsuit is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of all U.S. residents who have had mobile devices containing Carrier IQ software.

The lawsuits were brought on behalf of the Federal Wiretap Act. The Federal Wiretap Act is a law that forbids the intercepting of “oral, wire or electronic communications.” There is a penalty of $100 per day for every violation that takes place.

The Carrier IQ controversy went off when a security researcher released a YouTube video that showed Carrier IQ’s software recording the keystrokes and encrypted communications on a smartphone device. Carrier IQ claimed that the software was used for carriers to provide better services. Carrier IQ threatened to sue the researcher that made the allegations.

Senator Al Franken (D-Minn) sent a letter to Carrier IQ and asked for details about the software. Below is the allegation in St. Louis:

Plaintiff, Erin Janek owns an HTC Android phone using the Sprint (NYSE: S) network. At all relevant times Plaintiff used her phone to electronically send over her cell phone network various types of private data. This data was not readily accessible to the general public. She did not know that Defendants were surreptitiously monitoring and collecting this data, nor did she give them permission to do so.