The Carrier IQ saga continues this morning. As we’re all still digesting just how big this issue is, and how big it may become, we attempted to make a little sense of it all in our recap last night. The picture will likely change over the next few weeks, as Senator Al Franken (D-Minn) has challenged Carrier IQ and its customers (HTC, Samsung, Sprint and AT&T) in two separate letters to respond to a series of questions before December 14.
One thing we all knew was that it was only a matter of time before class-action lawsuits started to creep up. Paidcontent.org (via Gizmodo) has discovered that Carrier IQ, Samsung and HTC have been hit with the first wave of class-action suits, which could result in these companies having to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars to affected customers. The lawsuits, filed in Chicago and Saint Louis, seek damages on behalf of all US customers who have had Carrier IQ software installed on their devices.
The primary claim of the lawsuits is that these companies violated the Federal Wiretap Act, which prohibits companies or individuals from intercepting oral, wire or electronic communications. Under the Federal Wiretap Act, the companies face fines of up to $100 per day for each violation, which could easily creep up into the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars.
No carriers have been named in any of the Carrier IQ lawsuits to date, though we’re certain that will come next. Verizon is certainly in the clear, claiming to have never used the Carrier IQ service, but Sprint, T-Mobile (thanks, Shield417)and AT&T will likely find themselves in the courtroom soon.
We’ll keep you up-to-date on the Carrier IQ saga as events unfold.