London: An Android app developer has revealed a ‘pre-installed software’, that secretly tracks activities of Android and Blackberry users.
Trevor Eckhart showed that Carrier IQ, a software package often used by US phone networks to monitor how phones are used and is installed as standard on phones such as HTC``s handsets, Android handsets and some BlackBerries, can ‘read’ what users type.
Eckhart demonstrated revealed the software not only ``reads`` every keystroke put into a phone, but also appeared to read every text message sent to the phone.
It also appeared to ``log`` location data, and transmit all of this to Carrier IQ.
Carrier IQ, however, immediately tried to suppress Eckhart``s report, the Daily Mail reports.
The Electronic Freedom Foundation, an activist group which promotes free speech online, said, Carrier IQ fired off a cease-and-desist letter to Eckhart, claiming that he infringed its copyrights and made unspecified false allegations about its software.
“Among other things, the company demanded that Eckhart turn over contact information for every person who had obtained the files from him, and that he replace his analysis with a statement - written for him by Carrier IQ - disavowing his research,” it added.
The company specifically denies that its sotware is used to ``monitor`` customers, which appears to directly contradict Eckhart``s demo.
“We are counting and summarizing performance, not recording keystrokes or providing tracking tools,” Carrier IQ said in a statement.
“The metrics and tools we derive are not designed to deliver such information, nor do we have any intention of developing such tools,” it added.