Lately, we have seen a lot of buzz or should we say controversy around the presence of a nasty hidden tool installed on many Android devices (as well as Apple iOS devices) called Carrier IQ. Briefly speaking Carrier IQ is tool that according to the company allows to measure the users experience and performance for example signal quality, dropped calls, apps activity, battery life stats. Officially as of now company has denied to log the user keystrokes, messages. Although some experts has confirmed that it is indeed the case – Carrier IQ not only records the keystrokes data, messages and many other sensitive pieces of data but also sends it to the company servers where this information can be potentially used by the company to analyze/plot and find the trends, patterns and may also provide a more cohesive picture about the individual users from this data! Although the company denies this but certainly there is a possibility of happening this right now. Even the Apple iOS devices such as iPhone are not safe from this although apparently there are reports that this service based on Carrier IQ is less nasty on the iDevices. Furthermore, Apple has announced that they will remove this service from the current version of the iOS using a patch and it will be completely eliminated from the future versions.
As for the Android firmware in particular stock firmware its likely to be present on the devices installed by the Carrier. However, there is still some hope in the form of community maintained custom firmware such as CyanogenMod as they have confirmed on their blog that CyanogenMod will NEVER have Carrier IQ. Even the past and current version do not include this nasty service. This is indeed a good news for the Android community and another strong reason to root your device and install a trusted 3rd-party custom firmware such as CyanogenMod.
On a closely related note a few days back we published a guide on How to Download & Install CyanogenMod 9 (CM9) Based on Ice Cream Sandwich on Samsung Galaxy S as well as an article on the current development status update of CyanogenMod 9.
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