Ever since Trevor Eckhart got involved in exposing the potentially disturbing information that Carrier IQ was tacking on millions of devices, things have slowly escalated. At first it was concerning, then it was more than slightly disturbing. What started out as an innocent public service announcement quickly escalated in to a cease and desist letter from CIQ to Trevor. That was quickly met with a response from Trevor and the EFF and CIQ immediately backed down. Then came the responses from Google, OEM’s and Carriers. Google insisted that the CIQ software is nothing that they install inside Android natively. That rest solely on the Carriers and OEM’s. Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile all admitted to using it, Verizon said they don’t use it at all and well, just for good measure Apple said they use it their iPhones but have been working to take it out in the next OS update.

The next big news to hit surrounding the company was just yesterday when Senator Al Franken asked Carrier IQ to disclose their practices and make the whole thing public knowledge. As well as it should have been in the beginning.

Now we have a class action lawsuit filed under the grounds that CIQ, HTC and Samsung are in violation of the Federal Wiretap Act. Which essentially is an Act that makes eavesdropping on anybody, be it oral, wire or electronic, illegal. Under general principles, this act doesn’t do so much for kids whose parents listen in on conversations and read their Facebook page without permission from the kids. It does however protect general Americans from being the target of data collection that was not expressly consented too. If you don’t have an option to opt out of the service and it is never explained to your and you are unaware of the service, it is pretty much an illegal act.

Along with CIQ, HTC and Samsung have been named exclusively in the lawsuit. Although T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T have admitted to using the software, they have not been implicated in the class action yet. No other carrier or OEM has been target either. That could of course change as the proceedings get started.

The estimated pay outs in penalties if they lose the suit could reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars. It might even provoke Federal investigation that would blow the whole thing wide open. If an investigation does get under way, who knows what else might be discovered.

Source: PaidContent / Phandroid