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There has been little written technically about the Carrier IQ software on iPhones despite it being present on iOS 3, 4, and now iOS 5.

From what I can tell, the daemons vary depending on the firmware version of the device (as well as where the default log files lie):

  • iOS 3: /usr/bin/IQAgent logs to /var/logs/IQAgent
  • iOS 4: /usr/bin/awd_ice2 or /usr/bin/awd_ice3 logs to /var/wireless/Library/Logs/IQAgent
  • iOS 5: /usr/bin/awd_ice2 or /usr/bin/awd_ice3 logs to /var/wireless/Library/Logs/awd

To avoid a huge effort to answer this - I've provided the iOS 3 and 4 information to illustrate the length these have been around but would be happy to get answers focused exclusively on the iPhone data collected under iOS 5. More general or detailed answers are always welcome, but I'll choose the best answer that covers iOS5 and:

  1. Is personally identifiable or data associated with my unique device / serial number collected?
  2. Does this collected data sync to my computer to iCloud?
  3. Is some or all of the data transmitted over the air or WiFi directly to anyone other than Apple?

Since there are many variables, please try to provide the carrier you have, the phone model as well as whether you opted in to send this diagnostic data. All reports I have seen is this software only runs when you opt in and cleans up / stops reporting as soon as you opt out.

iOS 5 Diagnostics & Usage settings

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Wow. I just read the news that your question is probably related to. This is a big deal! In Germany, where online privacy is very seriously addressed this will be widely discussed in the news, I'm sure. With what motivation would one do such a thing? Interesting to read: androidsecuritytest.com/features/logs-and-services/loggers/… and forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2011/11/30/… –  gentmatt Dec 1 '11 at 13:57

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

It appears that very little, and it can be completely disabled.

Carrier IQ, the now infamous “rootkit” or “keylogger”, is not just for Android, Symbian, BlackBerry, and even webOS. In fact, up through and including iOS 5, Apple has included a copy of Carrier IQ on the iPhone. However, it does appears to be disabled along with diagnostics enabled on iOS 5; older versions may send back information in more cases. Because of that, if you want to disable Carrier IQ on your iOS 5 device, turning off “Diagnostics and Usage” in Settings appears to be enough.

http://blog.chpwn.com/post/13572216737

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In iOS 5 /usr/bin/awd_ice3 (I don't have awd_ice2) contains some paths and then a lot of unreadable data (opened as text). Maybe it's encrypted/compressed? /var/wireless/Library/Logs/awd is empty as it should be as I have not enabled sending Diagnostics and usage (will test and update in a few days).

My iPhone 4 was bought in Italy and the carrier is 3 (H3G).

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Thank You! Would you mind adding the phone model and current carrier? Can I assume you have opted in to data collection and the log is still empty after a day or so? This is exactly the sort of information I'm looking for. Glad your carrier isn't logging things. –  bmike Dec 6 '11 at 16:09
    
I own an iPhone 4, my carrier is 3 (H3G Italy). By the way my data collection was set to ‘Don't send’. I've now turned it on, I'll let you know in a couple of days! ;) –  Entropid Dec 8 '11 at 13:04

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