Carrier IQ meets with FTC and FCC over rumored inquiry

Carrier IQ has been questioned by the FTC and the FCC this week over allegations of data privacy transgressions, though the analytics company insists the meetings were at its own behest. News of the meetings was broken by the Washington Post, but Carrier IQ quickly responded by pointing out no official investigation has been undertaken – as far as it knows – in a statement to AllThingsD; "CarrierIQ sought meetings with the FTC and FCC" the company says, "to educate the two agencies about the functionality of its software and answer any and all questions."

The Federal Trace Commission (FTC) is the US organization that protects consumer privacy and enforces privacy-related laws, and would be Carrier IQ's primary foe if an investigation is undertaken. The company says it is "not aware of an official investigation into Carrier IQ at this time"; however, sources inside the FTC – who spoke anonymously as details have not been publicly announced yet – seemingly confirmed that an inquiry is, indeed, going ahead.

Carrier IQ made headlines in November, when security researchers discovered what appeared to be keypress logging in Android handsets. That logging and data collection was subsequently found across multiple platforms in devices distributed by various carriers, though the extent to which information was stored differed by handset.

The ensuing furore caught the attention of Congressman Edward J. Markey, who demanded an investigation into the software. Carrier IQ came out on the charm defensive, releasing a comprehensive FAQ detailing exactly what – and what not – was supposedly collected by its network monitoring tools. Nonetheless, many carriers themselves have been quick to put distance between them and the analytics firm.