HTC responds to fears of Carrier IQ on HTC EVO

Ciq-evo3d

When we reported last week on some additional digging that led to some more concerns about Carrier IQ on the HTC EVO, many readers of G&E responded by expressing concerns about Big Brother tracking their every move. Others, however, were more concerned about potential effects on battery life, while some argued that this software is essential to HTC's efforts to diagnose potential software problems and make upcoming OTA updates and devices better.

In their continuing efforts to correct previous developer alienation and get power users back on their side, HTC released the following statement about Carrier IQ. In short, this app does apparently does nothing more than collect information that is optionally sent to HTC when device errors occur, and customers must explicitly opt-in, as the EVO 3D screenshots above show.

From HTC:

We’ve seen some questions about Sensation and Evo 3D and want to provide more information. HTC, like most manufacturers, has an opt-in error reporting function built in to our devices. If your phone experiences an error, you have the option of “Telling HTC” so we can make improvements to our phones. Details about this are in our privacy policy on each device and in order for data to be collected, you have to opt-in. If you do opt-in, we protect your privacy by de-identifing and encrypting the data.   

HTC is committed to protecting your privacy and that means a commitment to clear opt-in/opt-out as the standard for collecting any information we need to serve you better.

So there you have it. While I have always thought that privacy concerns about Carrier IQ were a bit over-inflated anyway, this should hopefully put most users' fears to rest. Additionally, accusations of battery drain caused by Carrier IQ are probably also negligible, as the network is only used for a few seconds to send stats to HTC, and only when you specifically approve this action.

So do you find this official explanation from HTC acceptable? Are your fears put to rest, or do you still prefer to use ROMs that strip out Carrier IQ? Sound off in the comments and let us know what you think.

[xda-developers via Android Police]
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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.