Sprint says it's no longer using Carrier IQ data

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Things are looking worse and worse for the company that makes Carrier IQ as everyone seems to be distancing themselves from it as much as possible. Just yesterday, right after making a big effort to defend its use of Carrier IQ on devices such as the HTC EVO, Sprint decided to try a different course of action and stop using data collected by this tool altogether.

Furthermore, some outlets are reporting that Sprint has ordered phone manufacturers to strip Carrier IQ from all affected devices, although there is no word about a specific timeframe for this or exactly how this will be accomplished (most likely through an OTA software update).

In any case, it looks like Carrier IQ might just run out of customers before this is all said and done. But more importantly, what do you think of this latest development? Is Sprint doing the right thing, or is this too little too late?

You can read the full press release below.

From Sprint spokesperson Stephanie Vinge-Walsh:

We have weighed customer concerns and we have disabled use of the tool so that diagnostic information and data is no longer being collected.  We are further evaluating options regarding this diagnostic software as well as Sprint’s diagnostic needs.   At Sprint, we work hard to earn the trust of our customers and believe this course of action is in the best interest of our business and customers.

To reiterate, Sprint does not look at the content of customer messages, emails, photos, videos, keystrokes, etc. using the diagnostic tools offered by Carrier IQ.  Customers can trust that we look at only enough information through the Carrier IQ tool reporting aggregated, anonymized metrics, to understand the customer experience with devices and how we can improve our performance and enhance the customer experience.

Further, as we’ve said, Sprint has not used Carrier IQ diagnostics to profile customers, to serve targeted advertising, or for any purpose not specifically related to certifying that a device is able to operate on our network or to otherwise improve the customer experience or our network operations.  We have used Carrier IQ to certify devices prior to launching them on our network and after launch to review device functionality on our network (i.e., to better understand where dropped calls occur, identifying gaps in cell tower coverage, etc.)  

A key element of our privacy practices involves communicating with our customers about our privacy practices. The Sprint privacy policy explains that certain data is collected automatically by Sprint to ensure a high quality of service to our customers, including how a device is functioning when being used with different applications and about our network performance.  The information collected using the Carrier IQ tool is tailored to provide aggregated information relevant to and for the particular purpose of:

– Certification and testing of devices;
– understanding device performance to  determine when issues are occurring and how to resolve them; and
– analyzing our network performance and identify where we should be improving service.

 [Android Central | GeekThanks, Caleb, Luke, and Skripka!

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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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