Software from an outfit called Carrier IQ seems to be available for all the smartphones, if it is not already loaded on all of them. Their software can track everything you do, down to monitoring key strokes and web sites visited.
So what? Think passwords to bank accounts, apps used, all data searches performed and what results were viewed.
Remember the discussion on your phone tracking your location every moment? This goes beyond location tracking.
Farhad Manjoo provides a good intro in his article at Wired: Fear Your Smartphone.
Bruce Schneier has a summary from a more technical direction at Carrier IQ Spyware. Notice he categorizes Carrier IQ’s software as spyware.
Mr. Schneier has a great one-paragraph overview:
Spyware on many smart phones monitors your every action, including collecting individual keystrokes. The company that makes and runs this software on behalf of different carriers, Carrier IQ, freaked when a security researcher outed them. It initially claimed it didn’t monitor keystrokes — an easily refuted lie — and threatened to sue the researcher. It took EFF getting involved to get the company to back down. (A good summary of the details is here. This is pretty good, too.)
Check out both articles for more details.
My point? Pay attention to news about privacy issues. Figure out if new info impacts you or is an issue for your ministry or personal situation. Then make whatever changes are needed.
I discussed the issue of location tracking back in May: