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December 1, 2011
Lawyers and Firm C-Level Types Oftentimes are No Smarter Than the Ordinary Consumer: The Case of Mobile Phone Monitoring
Yesterday LLB's Mark Giangrande reported on the hidden mobile phone montioring software provided by Carrier IQ that is installed in millions of mobile phones, including most modern Android, BlackBerry and Nokia phones. See Your Phone Is Spying On You But You Weren't Supposed To Notice. ("Doesn’t President Obama use a Blackberry? Maybe someone should tell him about this.")
Hat tip to Wired's Researcher’s Video Shows Secret Software on Millions of Phones Logging Everything for the link to the below YouTube video by Trevor Eckhart. Wired's David Kravets comments:
Cringe as the video shows the software logging each number as Eckhart fingers the dialer.
“Every button you press in the dialer before you call,” he says on the video, “it already gets sent off to the IQ application.”
From there, the data — including the content of text messages — is sent to Carrier IQ’s servers, in secret.
By the way, it cannot be turned off without rooting the phone and replacing the operating system. And even if you stop paying for wireless service from your carrier and decide to just use Wi-Fi, your device still reports to Carrier IQ.
Apparently, even https queries are logged.
On rethinc.k, Jason Wilson writes about this in the context of lawyers using Carrier IQ enabled mobile phones:
[I]f you are a lawyer using a “smart phone” you probably don’t know what kinds of contractual concessions you’ve made. In short, you’re an idiot. And thus the title of this post, which is you’re fucked.
Deride the luddites all you want, but they won’t be crying when you’re the first lawyer to find him or herself on the wrong side of a third-party subpoena because you were too lazy to read a 100-page EULA. The shit this kid Eckhart says (and shows) he found scares the crap out of me, particularly when I think about some software program tracking my login/passwords for secured accounts. If you, as a lawyer, don’t see this as a problem for both yourself and your clients, then you’re a fucking idiot.
Wilson is referring to the below video. For more, see Wilson's Why lawyers are fucked post. [JH]