Feeds

Carrier IQ VP: App on millions of phones not a privacy risk

Like tiny fish through a net, key taps dropped from memory

Security for virtualized datacentres

Looking for my mantra

What percentage of that 200KB do you reckon is radio conditions? Would it be 80 percent, 20 percent?

It varies depending on the customer. It could be as much as 80 percent. Our advice to customers is to keep it within that 200KB framework. Just doubling it to 400KB or doubling it to twice a day obviously doubles the amount of processing power you need to deal with it.

Our mantra has always been to throw away as much information as early as possible. Throw away what you don't need on the handset first. Throw away what you don't need as you start bringing it into the cloud, into the data center, and go from there. Less is more in this case. Even at 200KB per day, if you start multiplying that out by thousands, ten thousands, hundreds of millions [of users], it ends up to be a lot of data.

What kind of legacy is there on handsets that run carrier IQ for the collected data? Is it possible for a very determined individual to grab that phone and pull data off of it?

It's really a function of how often the information has left the phone because once the information has left the phone there's no reason to keep it on the phone. And let's just say you did get hold of that information we gathered with whatever tool you had, you'd still have to understand and decode that entire format and what we did. Unless you're going to guess what we did, you'd kind of have to use our tools to be able do that, i.e. you'd have to do what essentially happens when that package gets to the data center.

But that's exactly what reverse engineers do.

Correct. But again, if customers are uploading once a day, you've got the last 24 hours [of data stored]. And if the uploads take place once a week, the level of information that's going to be recorded is going to be way less.

We all know that stuff is never really deleted unless it's specifically wiped, and that's very processor and battery intensive, so I'm guessing Carrier IQ isn't wiping this stuff clean.

We're operating in the RAM space.

Is it fair to say you can't rule out the possibility that a phone recovered by law enforcement or somebody else may be able to pull some of the data that was collected by Carrier IQ and glean information about key taps that were made, phone numbers that were called, etc.?

The key taps, remember, are being filtered and dropped so that's never making its way into any captured [data]. It's in and out in the same way as the fish net analogy with the little fish. It's a memory copy function, so I see this copy, does the pattern match? No, so discard, please.

The other thing to think about is that while you potentially jump through all these hoops, the operators themselves are going to have all this information one way or another. The operators themselves will comply with law enforcement. They will have a huge amount of information even without our technology.

®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.