As controversy continues to swirl around Carrier IQ, which stores data and sends it to cellphone service providers, Apple has confirmed that it stopped supporting the software in iPhones — and will remove it completely from future iPhone software.
“We stopped supporting Carrier IQ with iOS 5 in most of our products and will remove it completely in a future software update,” Apple said in a statement to All Things D. “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 how do you block Carrier IQ right now, if you’re using iOS 5 or greater on your iPhone? Follow our simple guide:
The irony of this situation: your cellular provider already gathers reams of data about where you’re going, what websites you’re accessing, who you’re texting, and a lot more. Keeping diagnostic data from being sent to the cellular provider is not actually going to give you much more privacy than you already give up by using a smartphone.
The problem with this little piece of software that’s baked into iOS is that it’s storing a small amount of that data on your iPhone itself, which could be mined and looked at by nosy people doing forensics on your handset.
But if you’re not careful about covering your tracks, prying eyes can also see your browser history, texts you’ve sent and received, calls you’ve made, location data and a lot more.
According to security experts and Carrier IQ who spoke to CNET, the purpose of Carrier IQ is to gather data so cellular companies can diagnose network problems. So if everyone disables data uploading, carriers will have a harder time with network upkeep.
Will you be blocking Carrier IQ — or is it a lot of fuss over nothing? Let us know in the comments.