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Sen. Franken Statement on Responses from Carrier IQ, Wireless Carriers, and Handset Manufacturers

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Today, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) released the following statement after reviewing the responses he received from Carrier IQ, AT&T, Sprint, Samsung, and HTC regarding Carrier IQ and the use of its software.
 
"I appreciate the responses I received, but I'm still very troubled by what's going on," said Sen. Franken. "People have a fundamental right to control their private information. After reading the companies' responses, I'm still concerned that this right is not being respected. The average user of any device equipped with Carrier IQ software has no way of knowing that this software is running, what information it is getting, and who it is giving it to-and that's a problem.  It appears that Carrier IQ has been receiving the contents of a number of text messages-even though they had told the public that they did not.  I'm also bothered by the software's ability to capture the contents of our online searches-even when users wish to encrypt them.  So there are still many questions to be answered here and things that need to be fixed."
 
On December 1, Sen. Franken wrote a letter to Carrier IQ asking the company to explain what its software records, where it is transmitted, and who has access to it. Sen. Franken then wrote letters to AT&T, Sprint, Samsung, HTC, T-mobile, and Motorola, who had acknowledged that they used Carrier IQ's software.  Sen. Franken requested that they explain what they do with the information they receive from the software.
 
Earlier this year, Sen. Franken introduced the Location Privacy Protection Act, which would require companies like Connect IQ to obtain the explicit permission of customers before tracking their location information or sharing that information with third parties. The legislation has already garnered significant support in the Senate and from prominent privacy and consumer protection advocates.

You can read the responses from:
·         Carrier IQ: letter and attachment.
·         AT&T
·         Sprint
·         Samsung
·         HTC
 
Sen. Franken requested that T-Mobile and Motorola respond to him by Tuesday, December 20.

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