Class action lawsuits have been filed against Samsung, HTC and Carrier IQ. Carrier IQ has been in the spotlight after a security expert revealed that its software is installed on millions of smartphones and may be spying on users. Sprint and AT&T have both admitted to using the application, and other carriers likely use similar services, but both carriers have denied taking advantage of the software’s ability to spy on customers. The class action lawsuits are seeking hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of all U.S. residents, paidContent said Friday. Read on for more.
HTC, Samsung and Carrier IQ have been accused of violating the Federal Wiretap Act which “protects the privacy of wire, oral, and electronic communications” of all Americans. A St. Louis lawsuit against HTC states the following:
Plaintiff, Erin Janek owns an HTC Android phone using the Sprint network. At all relevant times Plaintiff used her phone to electronically send over her cell phone network various types of private data. This data was not readily accessible to the general public. She did not know that Defendants were surreptitiously monitoring and collecting this data, nor did she give them permission to do so.
HTC said in a recent statement that it is “not a customer or partner of Carrier IQ and does not receive data from the application, the company, or carriers that partner with Carrier IQ” but that a number of U.S. wireless carriers use the service. Carrier IQ has denied that it provides tracking tools and says its “software is designed to help mobile network providers diagnose critical issues that lead to problems such as dropped calls and battery drain.”
On Thursday, Senator Al Franken sent a formal letter to Carrier IQ forcing the company to answer 11 questions regarding its practices. Senator Franken gave Carrier IQ until December 14th to respond.