Kowalls call for investigation of Carrier IQ

LANSING — To help ensure the personal privacy of Michigan residents is protected, Sen. Mike Kowall and Rep. Eileen Kowall are calling for an investigation of the mobile phone application “Carrier IQ” installed on many smart phones.

Unbeknownst to most smartphone users, Carrier IQ is a piece of software installed in millions of smartphones across the world that can track websites visited, keystrokes and text message content and send it to a third party.

“Unfortunately, if you have a Nokia, Android or Blackberry phone, there is a good chance Carrier IQ is on your phone,” said Sen. Kowall, R-White Lake. “As an elected official, I feel it is my duty to defend people’s right to privacy.

The Kowalls are calling on Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette to investigate whether Carrier IQ has violated federal wiretapping laws and determine if a class action lawsuit should be brought against the company. The lawmakers are also considering legislation to protect Michigan smartphone users from Carrier IQ and similar apps.

“Plain and simple, recording this type of data is a violation of a person’s right to privacy,” said Rep. Kowall, R-White Lake. “To think that this software is running on millions of phones without users knowing about it is disturbing and despicable.”

For information on how to see if Carrier IQ is installed on your smartphone, visit www.youtube.com and search for the “Carrier IQ Part 2” video.