RIM has joined the crowd of manufacturers and carriers distancing themselves from Carrier IQ, telling SlashGear that it neither preloads the snooping software on BlackBerry phones, nor authorizes carrier partners to do so themselves. The Canadian company insists it “did not develop or commission the development of the CarrierIQ application, and has no involvement in the testing, promotion, or distribution of the app” which has been accused of monitoring calls, location and other details of how cellphone owners use their devices.
BlackBerry devices were among the original crop of phones tipped to use Carrier IQ software, back when developer T.Eckhard first publicized the presence of the privacy-bothering tool. He claimed the RIM smartphones would send back detailed usage information without the owner’s permission or knowledge, over either WiFi or cellular data connections, which carriers would use as part of their market research and network management.
That, RIM now says, it’s patently untrue – at least as far as its own phones are concerned – and will continue investigations into any evidence otherwise. The company’s full statement is below.
“RIM is aware of a recent claim by a security researcher that an application called “CarrierIQ” is installed on mobile devices from multiple vendors without the knowledge or consent of the device users. RIM does not pre-install the CarrierIQ app on BlackBerry smartphones or authorize its carrier partners to install the CarrierIQ app before sales or distribution. RIM also did not develop or commission the development of the CarrierIQ application, and has no involvement in the testing, promotion, or distribution of the app. RIM will continue to investigate reports and speculation related to CarrierIQ.”