AT&T, Sprint Sued by Customers Over Carrier IQ Tracking Software

AT&T Inc., Sprint Nextel Corp., Apple Inc. and T-Mobile USA were sued by mobile phone customers who claim that Carrier IQ Inc. tracking software installed on their phones violates U.S. wiretapping and computer fraud laws.

The lawsuit cites a YouTube report by a technology blogger that purported to show that Carrier IQ software collects information on phone users’ locations, applications and Web browsing and even the keys they press. Four consumers filed a complaint yesterday in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, seeking to block the carriers and phone makers from using the software.

Carrier IQ software logs user activity and runs in the background of mobile devices. After the YouTube report, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee contacted the company seeking information and alleging that the software may violate federal privacy laws, according to a copy of the complaint supplied by David Straite, an attorney for the plaintiffs. The filing of the lawsuit couldn’t be confirmed yesterday through electronic court records.

AT&T and Sprint, the second- and third-largest U.S. wireless providers, said in e-mailed statements on Dec. 1 that the software data is used to improve service performance. Apple stopped supporting Carrier IQ in most products and will remove it completely in a future software update, Natalie Harrison, an Apple spokeswoman, said in a Dec. 1 e-mail.

Full Story Via Business Week