Carrier IQ isn't spyware as such. It does indeed collect and map geo-location and device (T-Mobile and other carriers in the US have confirmed the app is resident on some of their devices) specific data which includes SMS, MMS, search queries and a whole lot more from your smartphone. The main reason the media is saying Carrier IQ is spyware is to do with the way the application has been installed rather than what it is doing.
The Carrier IQ app is indeed hidden from prying eyes but for privacy advocates among us, we believe that everyone should have the right to know what data is being collected, transmitted and analyzed about our everyday 'usage behaviour'.This is true to some extent. Phone data is collected by the carriers on a regular basis including SMS, MMS, search queries and more. It's all in the name of 'improving the service'. It's when the data is sold to third-parties that we should all be wary. Given Carrier IQ has been found hidden away on devices and users' were not aware (nor were users' allowed to opt out) of what this app was doing is one of reasons this received so much media attention. Read more