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Carrier IQ tracking likely US only

Revelations that US smartphones are secretly collecting data, including keystrokes, for telcos were released to the public this week, although the issue appears to be only in the US so far.

Revelations that US smartphones are secretly collecting data, including keystrokes, for telcos were released to the public this week, although the issue appears to be only in the US so far.

(Credit: CBSi)

Aussie telcos Telstra, Optus and Vodafone have confirmed that the Carrier IQ software is not installed on any phones sold to their customers in Australia, with Vodafone extending this statement to include its entire business worldwide, including the UK.

"We require all of our suppliers to comply in full with the strict guidelines we have in place governing the protection of privacy on all of our customer networks," Vodafone said in a statement.

A Telstra spokesperson told CNET that the only information it logs about customers is used "for the purposes of connecting calls or billing".

Manufacturer HTC is one of several companies whose handsets have the Carrier IQ logging software installed in the US, but the company denies that it is directly affiliated with Carrier IQ, stressing in a statement that it "does not receive data from the company, its application or carriers who partner with Carrier IQ". The activity-capturing software has also been discovered on Nokia handsets and BlackBerrys.

Double check for Carrier IQ

Android handset owners can check to see whether Carrier IQ is installed on their handsets using a free-to-download app called Any Cut, found on the Android Market. Any Cut can create a shortcut for any application activity, and, as such, displays a full list of system activity.

To use Any Cut to search for Carrier IQ, install the app and launch it. Select New Shortcut, then the option Activity and then scroll down the list, and see if you can identify an activity in the list "IQRD or IQAgent". We have searched using this method on a Samsung Galaxy SII, HTC EVO 3D and Motorola Razr so far, and are yet to find any evidence of this activity.

If you find this activity on a handset bought in Australia (not imported or bought through a grey imports store), let us know.

Update: Research in Motion has replied to a request for comment, saying that while it "is aware of the claim made by a security researcher... RIM does not pre-install the CarrierIQ app on BlackBerry smartphones or authorise its carrier partners to install the CarrierIQ app before sales or distribution."