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Is Your Phone Spying On You? Tracking Software Reported In Smart Phones

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File photo of Android phones and tablets. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

File photo of Android phones and tablets. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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TAMPA, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – Smart phone service providers and developers across the tech spectrum are coming under increasing scrutiny as recent reports allude to the presence of tracking and spyware programming in its products.

Software that tracks every keystroke a user makes has been reportedly placed inside multiple Android, Blackberry and Nokia phones.

The most recent uproar was caused by an inside man – Android developer Trevor Eckhart – who posted a video that shows how these phones can track the detailed use of a given smart phone.

The technology has allegedly been provided by Carrier IQ, a company who, according to its website, is “the leading provider of mobile service intelligence solutions to the wireless industry.”

Calls made by CBS Tampa to Carrier IQ were not returned.

However, the company has put out a release on the matter in response to the increased attention their technology has garnered in light of these reports.

“While we look at many aspects of a device’s performance, we are counting and summarizing performance, not recording keystrokes or providing tracking tools,” the release, signed by Carrier IQ’s Mira Woods, said. “The information gathered by Carrier IQ is done so for the exclusive use of that customer, and Carrier IQ does not sell personal subscriber information to 3rd [sic] parties.”

This news comes on the heels of a Guardian article that raised speculation over iPhones tracking the whereabouts, past and present, of users.

All implicated providers, including Apple and Nokia, have denied spying on their customers to various news outlets.

There are measures users can take to protect themselves and their identities and personal information, the United States Department of Commerce said.

However, according to their published Guidelines on Cell Phone and PDA Security, it is possible that many users do not take advantage of these preventative measures.

“Anecdotal information indicates that most cell phone and PDA users seldom employ security mechanisms built into a device, and if employing them, often apply settings that can be easily determined or bypassed,” the document reads.

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