If you want to know if your Android handset carries it, how do you find out? Well, there's an app for that, multiple ones in fact.
First up is one from BitDefender. Folks might know that BitDefender has long been in the Windows security space, and they've released the BitDefender Carrier IQ Finder to the Android Market. The app requires Android 2.1 or later, and gives you a simple "yes / no" type answer. It has 49 ratings and a 4.7-star average.
What if you have an older version of Android? Lookout Security, which has been in the mobile security space far longer than BitDefender, and which has an excellent reputation for its Android app, has released Carrier IQ Detector, which has 685 reviews and a 4.8-star average. That app will work with Android 1.5 and up.
There are other apps in the Android Market, but since these come from reputable security firms, we'd be more likely to trust these.
Although, look what we ended up with after trusting the carriers? Note: some folks have commented they are getting different results with different apps, but haven't really detailed which apps gives which result, we'd recommend sticking with "big-names" if you really want to know if your handset carries the Carrier IQ software.