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Root custom roms tracking user info

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by slith003, May 1, 2011.

  1. slith003

    slith003 Member
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    Do custom roms track user information? And is there anyway to tell if personal information ie passwords or pictures is being tracked or monitored?
     

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  2. hortstu

    hortstu Android Enthusiast
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    I've heard about the i phones having this problem but havent heard anything about it with androids yet. The fact that the OS is open source makes me think that some of the brainiacs here would detect something like this and make it public knowledge quick.

    I'd like to know if it's happening though.
     
  3. mdizzle99

    mdizzle99 Android Enthusiast
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    Google will often track information but it is supposed to be "anonymous." Whether you have a custom ROM or not, I would just assume that is happening. Some apps also collect data but you should have the option to turn it off. At the same time, there are certain ROMs which are clear that they would like to track your information - again, anonymously. For instance CM has this option.

    The cases I described above are not, as far as I know, out to collect personal/identifiable information like passwords, pictures, etc. It would be possible for a ROM or program which has root access to track some of this information, and that is why you need to take caution in which ROMs and apps you trust. For myself, I tend to follow the strength in numbers rule... if a lot of other people are using the ROM or app, I tend to feel safer. Although that is not very sound logic...it's what I go by.
     
  4. evomattnc

    evomattnc Android Expert
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    Phone manufacturer also collects data I believe...check out fresh 4 he removed the c-iq stuff...
     
  5. hortstu

    hortstu Android Enthusiast
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    Yeah that would be my bigger concern. What is this "c-iq stuff" you speak of?
     
  6. evomattnc

    evomattnc Android Expert
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    Carrier IQ (aka CIQ, or just IQ) is a market research tool used by Sprint/HTC to see what the phones are being used for. You can find out more about Carrier IQ on their website.
    Now there is a huge group of people out there that would tell you this is Sprint/HTC spying on us, and they are right. You can see an example of what type of information is gathered by looking at a sample report from Carrier IQ. It is essentially spyware and is tied in to practically every HTC application on our phone.
    This isn't new news and really isn't a secret. Carriers gathering this information helps them see how the phones are being used and how they can improve them in the future. I didn't decide to remove it because I have a tin foil hat on and I'm worried about what they're collecting, although those people will certainly benefit. I chose to remove it because it has a number of services that are constantly running in the background and chew up quite a bit of CPU (and battery) at times.
    While I haven't gone as far as to remove the calls to it from every single application on the phone I have completely disabled and removed the service from the ramdisk, the binaries, and the libs. Thus if you happen to be the type that watches logcat you will see some errors saying individual applications can't reach the service. Nothing to worry about.
    Despite the fact that I have known about CIQ for a while, I have never chosen to remove it for various reasons. I decided to go for it on Fresh Evo 4.0 because I will be keeping a "beta" tag on this rom until we get some a more official release which means I can try new things.
    Questions? Feel free to ask.

    Directly from Flipz fresh 4 thread
     
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  7. hortstu

    hortstu Android Enthusiast
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    Well that's a concern because I don't really want sprint knowing I'm rooted or using wifi tether. How do I disable this? I'm using mikfroyo but would consider moving to fresh if I could disable it easier there.
     
  8. evomattnc

    evomattnc Android Expert
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    You are one of the paranoid :). It's already disabled on fresh 4. Sprint doesn't seem to care if we root for the most part. Disabling it yourself sounds labor intensive and not worth the time to me
     
  9. wase4711

    wase4711 Android Expert
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    You could always put on a tin foil hat; that would protect you from Sprints spying eyes...
     
  10. hortstu

    hortstu Android Enthusiast
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    Well I've had problems with an evo recently. My concern is that they will use this info against me if I file an insurance or warranty claim. I'm not worried so much about private info being stolen... I don't like the idea of it but it isn't at the top of my concern list.
     
  11. evomattnc

    evomattnc Android Expert
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    I have heard of people getting 2 new phones within days of each other. Either way c iq is already disabled on fresh 4 so flash away
     
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