By Ian Bush

WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) – Local attorneys have filed a federal class-action lawsuit against smartphone makers and a company accused of snooping on tens of millions of consumers.

The software under scrutiny is called Carrier IQ, made by a company of the same name and included deep within nearly 150 million cell phones. Last month, a tech researcher found the program is logging what users are typing and where they are surfing.

“It may have been tracking highly sensitive information illegally, in violation of federal wiretap laws, off users’ handsets and transmitting the information back to the carriers,” said David Straite, with Wilmington, Delaware based law firm Sianni and Straite.

The lawsuit also targets AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and smartphone makers Apple, HTC, Motorola, and Samsung according to Straite. It also accuses them of violating the Federal Wiretap Act, the Stored Electronic Communications Act, and the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

“We might be able to fashion a solution to make sure this doesn’t happen again and also fashion a solution that might involve a privacy audit so consumers know exactly what happened and why it happened,” he said.

Carrier IQ has said the “software does not record, store or transmit the contents” of text messages, email, photos, or video.

The Sianni & Straite lawsuit comes after calls for a congressional investigation and other class-action complaints. A judge will have to consolidate the competing cases into one.

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