Sprint the Worst Carrier IQ Offender but is Now Disabling Carrier IQ From All Phones

This is a discussion on Sprint the Worst Carrier IQ Offender but is Now Disabling Carrier IQ From All Phones within the Android News forums, part of the Android.net category; During the Senate inquiry in which Senator Al Franken questioned several OEMs and carriers regarding the Carrier IQ privacy drama, it was revealed in court ...

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Thread: Sprint the Worst Carrier IQ Offender but is Now Disabling Carrier IQ From All Phones

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    Editor in Chief dgstorm's Avatar
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    Sprint the Worst Carrier IQ Offender but is Now Disabling Carrier IQ From All Phones


    During the Senate inquiry in which Senator Al Franken questioned several OEMs and carriers regarding the Carrier IQ privacy drama, it was revealed in court docs that Sprint was the worst offender with over 26 million phones utilizing the Carrier IQ keylogger and tracking software, although they indicated that only 1.3 Million devices were ever pinged for information at any one time. It was also revealed that AT&T has over 900,000 phones with the software, that Samsung has over 25 million smartphones with the software, and that HTC has 6.3 million phones with the software.

    During the proceedings, Sprint acknowledged that it used the software, but made it clear that it only used it in a limited capacity to help with diagnostics and troubleshooting technical issues and to improve network performance, not to track users data or for advertising. They also stated that they never shared the data with any third party company or governmental agency, and that they only store the data for a limited period of time (approximately 6 months) in a raw encrypted format. AT&T made similar statements to the Senator. T-Mobile, in an email to ComputerWorld, also made similar statements. Here is one of Sprint's statements from the court docs,

    Sprint has not used Carrier IQ diagnostics to profile customer behavior, serve targeted advertising, or for any purpose not specifically related to certifying that a device is able to operate on Sprintís network or otherwise to improve network operations and customer experiences.
    Sprint apparently took the issue very seriously and went a step further since then. They made a public statement on Friday that they were no longer going to use the Carrier IQ software. They shared that the Carrier IQ software was disabled on their servers, and that they were in the process of asking all their manufacturing partners to remove the Carrier IQ software from their phones. Here was Sprint's statement on the issue,

    "We have weighed customer concerns and we have disabled use of the tool so that diagnostic information and data is no longer being collected."
    This seems like a more complex issue than it was on the surface. On the one hand, people are definitely justified in wanting to have their data and phone usage kept private. On the other, how does a company draw the line in striving to utilize diagnostic tools to give their network users a better experience? It seems that Sprint did its best to use the data with the best of intentions, and in such a way that it couldn't really harm its users. Still... there is always the possibility of some unscrupulous employee of the company gaining access to something that they shouldn't and using it for nefarious purposes. Also, they probably should have made their customers aware, and offered an opt-out/opt-in option. Share your thoughts on the subject.

    Also, here we have provided links to the different statements on the subject from carriers and manufacturers:
    Carrier IQ Response and attachment
    Sprint
    AT&T
    Samsung
    HTC

    Source: BGR: (1) & (2) and ComputerWorld

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator/RS furbearingmammal's Avatar
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    All I'm going to say is...

    Nobody told us this garbage was on our phones. Now they're denying that it did anything, really, except when they pinged it, and it wasn't that (1.3 million phones AT ONCE) often, really, and they're disabling it, honestly, so they can't use this EXTREMELY POWERFUL PRIVACY INVASION TOOL AND DATA FIREHOSE for the benefit of you, the end user, and not them, the carrier, who installed it without your knowledge.

    Uh huh. And a doctor never took advantage of a sleeping patient to cop a feel.
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    All i can say is here's the reason why we need to stand up and let them know we will not tolerate backdoor deals, sneaky software and government stomping on our rights.

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