Personal cell phone information not so personal anymore

It's software called Carrier IQ, and it stores every keystroke ever made on your cell phone.

After storing the information, the software sends text messages, email addresses and even password information to certain cell phone providers.

"You go back and think about all of the things you may have said and done that you didn't think you wanted anyone to know about," said Amy Berrier of Greensboro, NC.

"The fact that they can seems kind of weird," said Colorado resident Stephon Crenshaw. "You know, kind of lack of privacy or something. I don't know if I would want anyone to know what I was doing."

On certain smart phones, like the Android and iPhone, providers, such as AT&T and Sprint, collect this data and don't give you a chance to opt out.

"I'd opt out of it if I could," said Brett John with Horry Telephone Cooperative. He says the information is not sent to the cell phone retailer. But it is sent to someone.

"I doubt that they'd actually be concerned with the actual content of what was actually said. There's likely not someone on the other end laughing at your jokes or whatever, reading through that, but the potential for that to be out there is what people seemed to be concerned about."

In a statement Thursday, Carrier IQ said, "As a condition of its contracts with operators, Carrier IQ operates exclusively within that framework and under the laws of the applicable jurisdiction. The data we gather is transmitted over an encrypted channel and secure within our customers' networks or in our audited and customer-approved facilities."

"They are not joking when they say this is the information age," said Coastal Carolina University computer expert Andrew Wahlley.


He says the problem is this transfer of information between manufacturer and provider is happening without your permission.

"Whatever they are doing with that data, we have no idea," he said. "But I do know that information equals money and the more information you have, well, the more profit that can be made."

Apple announced they will will not use Carrier IQ on the iPhone 5 and will disable the software in the updates of the iPhones already being used.

Carrier IQ is expected to make a statement to the federal government about the privacy of their software December 14th.

Do you believe cell phone manufacturers and providers are invading customers privacy? Leave you comment below.

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