Good and EVO

HTC responds to fears of Carrier IQ on HTC EVO


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.

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15 thoughts on “HTC responds to fears of Carrier IQ on HTC EVO

  • Avatar of Jackietreehorn

    I think I still prefer to strip it out, if for no other reason to alleviate fears (would they really tell us if they flipped the switch to send more info) and battery life. Also, since I’m rooted and flashed the stock ROM from xda, I don’t have a “Tell HTC” option, so while I assume that I’m opted out, I don’t actually KNOW.

  • the issue is not using the info that can be obtained by carrier IQ legally and responsibly and securely, but the threat of others other than CIQ being able to access the information and misuse it in malicious ways.

  • Avatar of Stiggy

    Eh maybe I’m ignorant but stuff like this doesn’t really bother me. It’s partially that I’m not really doing anything wrong, but I really think it’s because I do trust the company. Like I said, I really actually shouldn’t and I don’t really want them to have this information, but I’m sure we all remember the fiasco Apple had with this, I don’t really want this to happen to HTC and Android in general. Yes it’s because I’m an Android fanboy, but it’s really because I think Android needs all the big players to be at the top of it’s game to take on the bullshit lawsuits Apple puts out daily.

  • Avatar of Josh m

    I chose to opt out and I still occasionally see it going at 20-50% of the CPU I don’t like it

  • Avatar of Biker1

    Whatever HTC says is good enough for me LOL!
    I’m using CM7 and it’s a no longer a concern.
    If not HTC, some other entity will have access to the info sooner or later, as long as companies like HTC compile all this info, it Will Be Accessed and Used Irresponsibly by someone eventually.
    Big Brother is getting Bigger every day!

  • Avatar of zeph

    Use root explorer to delete the actual system .apk after you flash the kernel

  • Avatar of Dro3d

    Its funny that the only time I’ve seen the tell Htc option was the day after I accepted the android 2.3.4 update. I went to task manager hit kill all and my phone was frozen on that page. I did a quick battery pull and restarted my 3d and after boot up there was the tell Htc option. My phone froze up again the day after but hasn’t acted up in anyway since.

  • Avatar of GAE_Is_Worthless

    “So there you have it” GoodAndEvo is officially a worthless editorial blog instead of a news blog.

    For the record… the privacy concern is that it generates these files which ANYTHING can read, like a malicious app or virus for instance.

    Also, for the record… the perofrmance is still an issue, the act of listening to all of these events and logging them takes CPU cycles, which takes battery.

    *rolls eyes*

  • In my experience, I have not really noticed a notable difference in battery draining between ROMs with Carrier IQ stripped out and those that keep it. The biggest drain on battery usually comes from using 3G data – the CPU cycles that are required for the logging to occur are, in my opinion, negligible. But again, that’s just my opinion, drawn from my own personal experience. As always with things like this, YMMV.

    As far as a concern about malicious apps or viruses stealing your data: if you are that concerned about it, I hope you don’t keep any contacts stored in your phone, or any personal emails. Hopefully you delete all your call logs and texts messages immediately, and I hope that you don’t ever use the keyboard to type in any sensitive information (all Android keyboards have the ability to log all keystrokes, including passwords and credit card numbers). I hope you never use GPS, or any Google services for that matter.

    Of course, that seems silly — the best thing you can do is keep some trustworthy security software running on your phone, and not go around downloading suspicious/pirated/untrustworthy apps on your phone. I’d be much more concerned about a virus stealing other personal information from my phone, not some random crash logs from HTC.

  • Avatar of Manny

    Where is the option to turn this off on the EVO 4G?? I dont see this screen!

  • Avatar of benodiktine

    I just factory reset my phone after every email, text, phone call, etc… It’s a little annoying at first but you get used to it.

  • if I understand this, if you click the “close” button on the dialog box listed about HTC is still going to send the data, just with no Ident.

    That’s not really clear from the dialog box..

  • Avatar of allanonmage

    I think that this far into the game (and it being 2011 and all that), something like this should not be found by the community and then the manufacturer issue a press release to prevent bad press.

    y the way, has anyone even SEEN this program in their manage applications list? I’ve had an EVO 4G since launch day and never saw it. I was running stock or stock rooted up until ~a month ago.

  • Avatar of Kevin

    So you guys are saying that, if we don’t opt-in, you still collect the data, It’s just encrypted. I don’t like that. Now, if you didn’t collect ANY data, if we didn’t opt-in, that would be fine. I don’t like the fact that I own this phone, and I don’t have a choice in whether or not my data gets collected. I don’t know every person that works for HTC, so how do we ( the end user) know that some angry employee, or some other numb-nut couldn’t/wouldn’t LEAK our data? NO THANKS.

  • Avatar of Dave Stephenson

    How do you know some angry employee at Amazon won’t leak your data? Your bank? Even…*gasp*…your power company? I mean, paying bills online is encrypted! I don’t like that.

    Sheesh. The same risk exists for just about anything these days. Feel unsafe? I hope you never enable cookies, JavaScript or anything like that on your computer, either, because that will track your activities better than some stupid error logging process on your smartphone.

    Grow a pair.


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