Smart Phone Tracking Application Analytical Essay by Carly Evans

A detailed analysis of the controversy surrounding the smartphone tracking application software written by program developer Carrier IQ.
# 150805 | 1,898 words | 8 sources | MLA | 2012 | US
Published by on Apr 24, 2012 in Law (Civil) , Computer and Technology (Technology)

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This paper discusses the smartphone tracking application software written by program developer Carrier IQ and placed on untold numbers of personal smartphones by mobile carriers. The paper talks about how the tracking app monitors keystrokes, and in some cases phone numbers, and sends the information back to Carrier IQ, which then allegedly offers the information to its clients. The paper also talks about how researcher Trevor Eckhart broke the story on his blog and in a YouTube video, and follows the controversy that sprang out of those events. The paper further discusses how Carrier IQ filed a cease-and-desist order against Eckhart, but then, faced with lawsuits itself, backed down, withdrew the complaint, and apologized. The paper then discusses the reactions by mobile carrier companies and smartphone manufacturers, and how they tried to minimize the damage or point the finger of blame elsewhere. Additionally, the paper looks at the legal issues that may soon be explored by Congress, and concludes that only when Congress and the Courts have explored the issues further will we know where the legal boundaries of privacy lie.

Controversy Surrounding the Application
Response by Carriers and Manufacturers
Legal Implications

From the Paper:

"Trevor Eckhart, the man responsible for all the hullaballoo, is an Android researcher and "one of the more outspoken critics of the company's technology" (Reisinger, 2011). His initial claim was that the Carrier IQ software on his Android device could "phone home all kinds of information, including keystrokes, SMS messages in plain text, and even browsing history. What's worse, Eckhart says that removing the software is nearly impossible" (Reisinger, 2011).

"In a blog post, Eckhart apparently wrote that the Carrier IQ software is so deeply rooted in the firmware of the Android device that "it can't be fully removed without rebuilding the phone from source code. This is only possible for a user with advanced skills and a fully unlocked device. Even where a device is out of contract, there is no off switch to stop the application from gathering data" (Reisinger, 2011)"

Sample of Sources Used:

  • "About Carrier IQ.'' Carrier IQ. (Undated) : Web. 17 Apr. 2012.
  • Chow, Andrew, JD. "Congress Wants Answers on Carrier IQ Privacy Issues.'' FindLaw. (Feb. 9, 2012) : Web. 17 Apr. 2012.
  • Gross, Doug. "Fallout continues over smartphone tracking app.'' Cable News Network. (Dec. 2, 2011) : Web. 17 Apr. 2012.
  • Mello, John P., Jr. "Carrier IQ Test: Android App Detects Controversial Software.'' PC World. (Dec. 2, 2011) : Web. 17 Apr. 2012
  • Paczkowski, John. "RIM, HTC, Google on Carrier IQ: Blame the Carriers.'' All Things D. (Dec. 1, 2011) : Web. 17 Apr. 2012.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Smart Phone Tracking Application (2012, April 24) Retrieved April 02, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Smart Phone Tracking Application" 24 April 2012. Web. 02 April. 2023. <>