According to the mobile carriers, we consented to their installation of Carrier IQ even though we didn’t know about it and can’t easily remove it once we do know.
Sprint, AT&T, HTC and Samsung told Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota) Thursday that their end-user licensing agreements — those pages of fine print you sign when you get a new cell phone — authorize them to use Carrier IQ software to monitor app deployment, battery life, phone CPU output and data and cell-site connectivity. The companies’ statements, released by Franken, are a good roadmap to how the companies will fight federal privacy lawsuits already brought by consumers over the secret software.
Gizmodo’s updated list of the phones with Carrier IQ installed is here.
I think Douglas Adams had this kind of thing covered in Chapter 3 of “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy“:
“There’s no point in acting surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for 50 of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint…What do you mean you’ve never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven’s sake, mankind, it’s only four light years away, you know. I’m sorry, but if you can’t be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that’s your own lookout. Energize the demolition beams.
I don’t know, apathetic bloody planet, I’ve no sympathy at all.”