Google chairman Eric Schmidt says the controversial Carrier IQ network diagnostics tool was bad.
"It's a key-logger, and it actually does keep your keystrokes, and we certainly don't work with them and we certainly don't support it," Schmidt told an Internet freedom conference in the Dutch city of The Hague, <i>Reuters</I> reports.
The hard-to-remove software was revealed by programmer, Trevor Eckhart, who has posted his findings here, and initially faced legal threats from Carrier IQ, which the company has since backed down from.
Carrier IQ insiststhe privacy of customers of network operators it supplied its software to was "protected", maintaining that its software was merely for network analysis.
Nonetheless, Google’s Schmidt labelled it a keylogger, and the reason it was able to be installed on Android phones was because it was "an open platform".
"[I]t's possible for people to build software that's actually not very good for you, and this appears to be one," said Schmidt.
Eckhart revealed that the "rootkit" software logged, amongst other things, key strokes, text messages and web searches on some phones.
Some independent security consultants have since come forth to contest the extent of Carrier IQ’s reach, labeling the software’s design a potential threat, but benign in the sense that its current configuration was typical for carrier-grade network diagnostics.