Following a year of federal scrutiny over its use of cellphone consumer data, a company that has its software in millions of mobile devices is enlisting the services of a Washington lobby shop.
The law firm notified Congress November 26 that it is lobbying for the Mountain View, Calif.-based Carrier IQ on privacy bills a year after security researcher Trevor Eckhart said he found evidence that the company’s software recorded cellphone keystrokes.
Eckhart’s claim led to inquiries from the Federal Trade Commission, The Washington Post reported in December 2011.
Former Representative Jim Davis (D-Fla.), who is a Holland & Knight partner, senior policy adviser Karl Koch and associate Joel Roberson are handling the account. Koch and Davis are based in Tampa, Fla., while Roberson is in Washington.
Davis, Koch and Roberson, as well as Carrier IQ spokeswoman Mira Woods, couldn’t be reached for comment.
In December 2011, Carrier IQ released a report that says the company “never intentionally captured or transmitted keystrokes and is not aware of any circumstances where this has occurred.” The company said its software is intended to help wireless carriers enhance their customers’ experiences.
“Carrier IQ has built software that allows Network Operators to better understand how mobile devices interact with and perform on their network,” the report says. “Today our technology is used in two specific ways:network management and customer care.”
The Mobile Device Privacy Act is among the company’s worries in Washington. The bill, which Representative Edward Markey (D-Mass.) introduced in September in response to concerns about Carrier IQ, is intended to give cellphone users greater control over information their devices send to third parties.
“Just because a mobile device is hand held doesn’t mean it should hand over personal information to third parties without permission,” Markey, a co-chairman of the Bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus, said in a written statement in September. “Consumers should know and have the choice to say no to software on their mobile devices that is transmitting their personal and sensitive information.”
Holland & Knight is the first firm to register with Congress to lobby for Carrier IQ, according to congressional records.
Contact Andrew Ramonas at firstname.lastname@example.org.