Speaking at a Google-hosted conference on internet freedom in the Hague, Mr Schmidt criticised the software, which was installed by American operators on Android handsets.
He said that because Android, Google’s smartphone operating system, which runs on the majority of smartphones sold today, is an “open” platform, there was nothing his firm could do to restrict Carrier IQ’s software.
“Android is an open platform which means people can makes software for it that’s not very good for you,” Mr Schmidt said.
“This [Carrier IQ] appears to be one [such case], he added.
But he made it clear that Google does not approve of Carrier IQ’s methods. Its software is pre-installed and collects data in the background to report back to operators. Users are unable to disable it without completely wiping their smartphone.
“We certainly don’t work with them,” said Mr Schmidt, describing the software as a “keylogger”.
“And we certainly don’t support it,” he told an audience of journalists, government officials and democracy activists.