40 Comments

Summary:

Carrier IQ has become the target of public outrage, but a new study finds that the condemnation of Carrier IQ might be misplaced. The Yankee Group discovered a majority of consumers want their operators to access the very information that Carrier IQ is tracking.

carrieriq

Since an Android developer first detected a mysterious ‘spy’ app buried in his HTC phone, Carrier IQ has become the target of public outrage, a class-action lawsuit and even a Congressional inquiry. But a new study finds that the condemnation of Carrier IQ might be misplaced, if not a bit hypocritical. According to consumer survey data collected by the Yankee Group, the vast majority of mobile phone users want their operators to have access to the very information that Carrier IQ is selling them.

Yankee Group research director Sheryl Kingstone concluded that Carrier IQ and its partners did a horrible job when it came to the public implementation of its diagnostic platform, but she found that there was no nefarious intent behind it. The report also states that keystroke-logging tool found rooted in the depths of Trevor Eckhart’s HTC smartphone was not Carrier IQ’s phone performance monitoring software, but rather a factory testing app that HTC failed to deactivate before shipping.

If Carrier IQ had done a better job at educating customers about the presence and purpose of its app, it might have been welcomed by the public, rather than sued, Kingstone said. The Yankee Group’s consumer survey found that 85 percent of mobile phone using respondents wanted their operators to have access to detailed information about their device’s performance when they contacted a call center with a problem.

Yankee also asked what consumers’ expectations were when they called their operator with a problem. The top three answers were: 1) fixing the problem immediately, 2) remotely diagnosing the problem, and 3) empowering the call center agent to remotely fix it. If you go by Yankee’s data, consumers don’t just want their operators to know what’s going inside their phones, they want them to actively poke around inside whenever there’s a problem. Here’s what Kingstone said on Yankee’s mobile blog:

“It’s an issue of transparency, not malicious intent. Carriers — and especially consumers — want the best possible customer experience, and Carrier IQ’s software aims to do just that. Where it, and device vendors and carriers, erred was in their lack of transparency and failing to enable end-users to opt out of the service. If they had taken the opposite tack, revealing the existence of the software to end-users and providing them a potential option to opt in to ensure a better level of care, there would be no controversy, just better customer service. And that would be a win-win for all involved.”

Carrier IQ needs to be honest about its business model

I agree with Kingstone’s conclusions, so long as Carrier IQ is used only as a diagnostic tool. Networks are complicated things that require endless fine tuning, and on-device performance testing would be critical tool for optimizing those networks. I’d prefer my operator to let me know it’s recording actions on my phone, and then give me a chance to opt out, but the truth of the matter is my operator already knows plenty about me even without software like Carrier IQ’s. It knows where I am, where I’ve been, every SMS I’ve ever sent and every person I’ve ever called. We consumers have no problem with this, otherwise we would have freaked out the first time we ever saw our highly detailed phone bills.

But Carrier IQ is doing more than just selling network diagnostic info to operators, it’s selling — or at least trying to sell — to marketing analytics companies, which don’t own networks to diagnosis. Nielsen is working with Carrier IQ to integrate its device performance data with its own mobile metrics, though it will only to do so only on an opt-in basis, just as it recruits participants for all of its other measurement panels.

And Carrier IQ is definitely shopping its service around to other marketing and analysis companies. Kingstone said the Yankee Group last year investigated the possibility of buying data from Carrier IQ and other network measurement firms, but ultimately decided against it — the data was too technical to be of any much use while privacy concerns would have required Yankee to seek explicit permission from each consumer involved, she said. (The Yankee Group said that it has no current or former relationship with Carrier IQ.)

When Carrier IQ says it’s only selling data to the operators it’s either straight-up lying about the full extent of its business model or its misleading the public about its future intentions. It’s very possible this side business is innocuous, requiring explicit permission from the owner of any phone Carrier IQ tracks. Even if that’s the case, Carrier IQ needs to be upfront about that business model. Hopefully we’ll know more next week, when Carrier IQ is expected to respond to U.S. Senator Al Franken’s (D- Minn.) very detailed questionnaire about its activities.

Who else will get caught in the fallout?

Meanwhile, the voices calling for Carrier IQ’s head are growing deafening. On Friday Google CEO Eric Schmidt condemned the company at a conference in the Hague, saying that Google not only disapproved of Carrier IQ’s implementation into Android – it can not be uninstalled or de-activated – or the company’s methods, which he described as keylogging, the Telegraph reported.

Carrier IQ will most likely become a casualty of its own controversy, but whom else will it drag down? In a GigaOM Pro report, Stacey Higginbotham examines what other entities would suffer (subscription required) if Carrier IQ’s monitoring software winds up being more than it claims to be. Operators’ already fragile reputations are on the line, but Stacey concludes that consumers could wind up being the biggest losers. As faith in the operator and handset vendor erodes, consumers will be less likely to embrace new technologies and services that require a degree of trust to function. Emerging industry like mobile payment and finance as well as telemedicine could be the first casualties.

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  35. Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/rRjXVT2P >> CIQ still needs to be honest about its business model

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  39. This is precisely why they should simply ask as the phone’s being set up… “Do you want to allow your phone to send diagnostic data to your carrier to help improve service?”

    Much of the CarrierIQ flap is that it’s done without permission plus the fact that CIQ is then selling data to marketing companies. Here’s a thought. Businesses should be honest about their desire for information to help serve the customer, they should ask the customer for permission (and NO, burying a clause in the EULA is not the same) and then they should collect only what they get permission to collect. If someone refuses permission, you don’t collect data from them. You don’t lie to them and tell them you’re using it for diagnostics, then sell it to marketing companies.

    None of this is hard. It’s called integrity.

    1. Apple does exactly what you just mentioned. Automatically it is opt-out and you have to opt-in to send diagnostic data. Additionally, customers don’t need a keylogger to help them diagnose issues with their phone. A simple, noninvasive tool that can be started once problems start would be a better measure.

      1. Hi John, thanks for commenting. Here, I think Carrier IQ and the operators might be being a little misleading. I don’t think they are just using this information “on the spot” to fix smartphone problems when they arise. They’re using it as a general diagnostic tool to determine network health as well — seeing if they’re getting an extraordinarily high SMS failure rate in one particular sector, etc. That’s not a bad thing, but it requires more steady monitoring and as Rich just pointed out they should probably be seeking customer permission to do so.

        I believe Apple was more concerned about the device than the network, which is why it would switch the diagnostic tool on and off.

      2. And that tool already exists…

      3. Scratch that. I didn’t mean to say the operators are being misleading — they’re pretty clear they’re using Carrier IQ for network optimization. But I think there’s a public misconception that optimization means fixing problems as they arrive instead of diagnosing the health of the overall network.

    2. I agree Rick, an opt-in window like you see when installing an Android or iPhone app (or are at least supposed to see) would be ideal. Sure a lot of people won’t click ‘yes.’ But a clear disclaimer saying “We’ll only use this info to help fix your phone when it breaks — and you know it will” might do the trick. :)

      1. But if that study is correct, 85% of people would click yes which is plenty to figure out network health issues.

      2. HI Queenmortgage. Do you think they would click YES, though? I know that whenever I see one of this opt in boxes or buttons, some weird paranoid instinct wells up within me, making me always click “no.” Even if I know the intent isn’t malicious and opting might even be beneficial, my inclination is that the less info about me in some server, the better. Too many service providers from all sectors have shafted their customers in the past for me to purposely expose myself. I think a lot of people feel the same.

    3. You are not Carrier IQ customer. Operators and “third party” marketing companies (Nielsen) are. It’s up to your mobile operator to decide – opt-in /opt-out and what should they put into a legal agreement. As for other Carrier IQ customers, there is a clear statement in this article: Nielsen will ask users permission to collect their usage data. Can’t you read?

      1. Hi Vladimir. Thanks for commenting. You’re right Nielsen does plan to ask permission before it gathers data from any consumer. But are all of all CIQ’s so scrupulous? Carrier IQ doesn’t seem to think that carriers’ customers need to opt in for diagnostic services. To me that implies CIQ perfectly willing to sell customer data to an entity without asking for the consumer’s permission.

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  99. Ms. Kingstone is an idiot. A ‘factory testing app’ put there by HTC ?? So, let’s see… Since MOST of the CARRIERS (who don’t manufacture handsets) have ADMITTED installing Carrier IQ root-kits on devices, that negates everything Kingstone has tried…. By the way, Yankee was no better at this kind of fee-based lying 20 years ago when they tried it in the old computer/mini-computer business…

    SO, when the DOJ files Federal charges against Carrier IQ and other for violating FEDERAL WIRETAPPING LAWS, do the Yankee Group get included in the filing as a defendant??

    Pure, mindless propaganda.. must be a try-out for a talking head position at Cluster-Fox news!! Pathetic..

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  121. Vladimir Rodionov Saturday, December 10, 2011

    There is a good technical explanation what has actually happened here:
    http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=23483

    1. Excellent article Vladimir, it explains a lot from the programing side of things.

    2. Diassembling the code is a different story. the source code would be different and depends on the language, which on your link is Java.

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  131. Fortunately, android apps are popping up that allow you to detect and in some cases disable the Carrier IQ process. My sprint phone runs Carrier IQ – I just found “Carrier IQ Process Killer” in the android market and it seems to deactivate some of the carrieruiq stuff – hopefully more of these apps will be created soon. For now, I’m stilling with the one I have – the less info my phone is logging, the better.

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  134. Ridiculous article. People don’t wanna be monitored.

  135. MobileHelpersNL Saturday, December 10, 2011

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  136. May I see your phone remotely to try to see what the problem is, it’s only temporary. When we end this discussion the information will stop.

    Need I say more?

    1. Ha! VI, I think you summed up exactly what the issue is. It’s a question of trusting your operator. When your operator suddenly admits to monitoring your phone for who knows how long without your permission or without your knowledge, it’s hard to put your trust in that operator again. Sort of like the difference between a neighborhood watch and a nosy neighbor.

  137. 崎村夏彦 (=nat) Saturday, December 10, 2011

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    Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/64sn4Ffs

  139. RT @ matthiasbr: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/WZFOPgGf

  140. Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/jefW5sGG

  141. Tsubasa Tada (多田 翼) Saturday, December 10, 2011

    RT @gigaom: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/toG3LXsI

  142. Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked – GigaOm: http://t.co/9iRxLVDs #phone

  143. RT @gigaom: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/toG3LXsI

  144. Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/jXBajH0H

  145. Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/ouBwPs2t

  146.  Alexandre Lopes Saturday, December 10, 2011

    Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/AQzikVUL

  147. GigaOM: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/KxAJlwq1

  148. RT @gigaom: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/toG3LXsI

  149. Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked – GigaOm: http://t.co/9mIXw6e6 #phone

  150. Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their #mobile phones tracked http://t.co/ahl4HmMK via @zite #privacy

  151. I’m fine with being able to opt-in for signal quality statistics and application crash reporting.
    Otherwise, no thanks.

  152. Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/n0rRDAYd

  153. The question of “malicious intent” is irrelevant. Invasion of privacy cannot be tolerated, regardless of intent.

  154. Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/5Od0rhIv

  155. I’ll pass on the diagnostic data sending. Along with my personal data.

  156. I just commented on “Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked” @gigaom: http://t.co/OSiXhidr via @gigaom

  157. Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/5A7Orxxo

  158. RT @louiebaur: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/jXBajH0H

  159. Claudio M.O. Moura Saturday, December 10, 2011

    Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked: Since an Android developer first detected a mys… http://t.co/JPlKA6kx [GO]

  160. Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked: Since an Android developer first detected a mysterio… http://t.co/RjTy0QLJ

  161. Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked: Since an Android developer first detected a mysterio… http://t.co/whoAFjoA

  162. Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/BPvxDPpO

  163. Harrison Slowde Saturday, December 10, 2011

    RT @louiebaur: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/jXBajH0H

  164. RT @louiebaur: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/jXBajH0H

  165. RT @louiebaur: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/jXBajH0H

  166. RT @louiebaur: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/jXBajH0H

  167. RT @louiebaur: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/jXBajH0H

  168. RT @louiebaur: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/jXBajH0H

  169. Javier I. Sampedro Saturday, December 10, 2011

    Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked – http://t.co/6ddIKjKh

  170. Miguel Angel Cueto Saturday, December 10, 2011

    Well i don’t disagree with you at all, BUT… There’s some facts ur forgetting?!?!
    1- This is not the first time CARRIERS(not CIQ…) bypass customers permission over installing(or make someone install, lets say, a device maker) NOT needed software, for example, those that make ur device locked so u can use it only on their network, even when it can technically work on other carrier’s network. Are they follow customers interest on that too?? No, they are just following their own interest, don’t expect otherwise.
    2- Now, in this case their interest could be customer’s interest, but again, just because competence makes them wont to have a better service. So, if in order to do so, they have to bypass customer’s authorization, they do it. Because they already did it more than once, and like it seems, LAWS gives them no problems on that.
    3- This is not a naive move by Carriers or HTC, or even CIQ. This is intentionally obscured from customers knowledge. Thats why u weren’t asked for permission. Thats why u cant see the CIQ(not HTC client that u can see it but u cant disable it) software on the admin tools provided by the OS. Thats why CIQ sent a cease and desist letter to the researcher, and so forth.
    4- You can give your information to other person, and that certainly will make u have a better relation or communication with that person(lets say u give him ur phone number and address). But u rather wont give that info unless u are sure at least 90% that he/she wont use that info to harm u. The point is u have the option to give them or not ur information, and anything u do in ur phone is yours cuz u created it.
    5- Certainly the Carriers have so many info of u(messages u wrote, and so forth), but will u give them info they shouldn’t have access to, like ur passwords, etc… that pass encrypted through them, but in ur device are plain text.
    6- CIQ, MAYBE “is good for ur network performance”, but what we know for sure is that it is definitively bad for ur device performance. It is using every single resource u have in ur already low-resourced mobile device. It is using ur own Data plan, that u pay for. Or even ur WiFi connection, that u pay for too. Any discount?? See the carriers interest being taken care of??? Even when they find a problem on a particular area, it doesn’t mean that they will probably invest on that area.

    Only a judge will tell if this is something legal, but i certainly don’t like anyone installing software im not aware of, on my device, not carriers, not hackers, not anyone. Just google code(thats why i own a nexus device). Now carriers and pretty much everyone is blaming CIQ, Carriers are the ones to blame, not CIQ nor HTC.

    1. Hi Miguel, All good points. I’d just add two thoughts: A lot of reports have pointed out that the CIQ app isn’t collecting as much data as Eckhart found in his initial test. Also, while there plenty of examples of carriers installing (or removing — i.e. Google Wallet) apps on a device before they ship, phone locking may not be the best example to make your case. The reason phones are locked in the U.S. is because they’re subsidized by the operator. You get a $600 iPhone for $200 with the understanding you’ll remain a customer for two years, allowing the operator to recover their investment through subscription fees.

      You do raise a very good question in No. 6, though. While CIQ doesn’t appear to ship that much data over the network, someone does have to pay for it. If some app is secretly collecting info on me AND I was being charged for it collect that data, I’d be doubly peeved. I’ll look into that.

      1. I understand ur point, but im not so sure u get mine. First, while it is true u can get a subsidized phone since u sign a contract, it doesnt make the carriers the owner. Thats why they charge u a termination fee if u opt to go to another carrier before the contract time ends. And still after paying that fee, the phone is still locked. Finally u can pay the fee and opt-out, lock the phone dont make u tide to the contract, the fee does. What makes the locked phone for the carriers is, make u think twice before going to another carrier, cuz u must think of a new phone cost. Again, what tides u as a customer is the contract, with fee penalties including, not a locked phone, that’s why i see it as a good example, sice after all, its a complement safeguarding the carriers interest inside a customer device. And by the way, i wouldnt give a lot of credits on those researchs about CIQ data collection. Since the researcher get a non-CIQ provided code, the result of decompiling a bin code usually is not that pretty. I dont know how the researcher get to that pretty code(that seems like C++ ), usually u get an assembler code, with references like this
        mov A3233443, FF899303(an example) but for this comment i presumed innocence from CIQ. And thats why i blamed Carriers not CIQ.

  171. Guadalupe Blaise Saturday, December 10, 2011

    RT @louiebaur: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/jXBajH0H

  172. Humphrie Denzill Saturday, December 10, 2011

    RT @louiebaur: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/jXBajH0H

  173. RT @louiebaur: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/jXBajH0H

  174. RT @louiebaur: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/jXBajH0H

  175. RT @louiebaur: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/jXBajH0H

  176. Joseph Tornabene Saturday, December 10, 2011

    RT @louiebaur: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/jXBajH0H

  177. Come on Kevin! You’re either getting paid to write this propaganda like I’m sure the Yankee Group is or you’re an idiot. I kind of doubt the later.

    Let’s use our common sense here people. The carriers aren’t stupid, in fact I’d say they are as smart as you and me. If the carriers et. al. were using this program for something as simple and innocent as networking monitoring they would make it opt-in and use it as a “See we’re respecting your privacy” marketing opportunity. Because, as the article states, who is really going to say no to something that is used to improve my service?

    Since the carriers did not make this opt-in that tells us that they are more than likely using it as a profit center somehow, someway. Then the old saying “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than for permission” applies. Who would opt-in to something that abuses your privacy? Nobody.

    1. Hi John. Well, I’m glad you don’t think I’m an idiot, though I’m not sure I like the other choice much better. :)

      I see your point, John. But I think you might be giving the operators too much credit here. Even if Carrier IQ is harmless (and I’m not saying it is) and does exactly the diagnostic testing that the CIQ claims it does, I don’t think operators’ first inclination would be to level with their customers about using it. First, they don’t want customers to opt out and there would always be a large number that would. The more devices are in the test set — which in this case is all smartphones — the better the data. Second, if they can implement something by burying it in fine print, they’ll always take that route rather than explicitly ask permission. It’s just fewer headaches for them — that is until something like this happens.

  178. RT @louiebaur: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/jXBajH0H

  179. RT @louiebaur: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/jXBajH0H

  180. Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/z8p14UAe via @GigaOm

  181. Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked: Since an Android developer first detected a mysterio… http://t.co/7rhBH9Mk

  182. Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/R9OZAUwQ

  183. Robert A Bernard Jr Saturday, December 10, 2011

    GigaOM: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/B5Cx6SNw

  184. Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked – Carrier IQ has become the target of public outrage, but… http://t.co/Ks7CPKNX

  185. Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked – Carrier IQ has become the target of public outrage, but… http://t.co/KYxLnknx

  186. #CarrierIQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/0Po99ioR

  187. Vladimir Rodionov Sunday, December 11, 2011

    Too much propaganda and unreasonable doubts. Kevin, before you start writing the article, please make sure you gather all opinions and analyze all available sources of information.

    1. Myth: CIQ installs keylogger and spyware.

    There are several results of technical investigations already published, where real professionals (not Trevor) described their findings. I posted already the link to dailytech article. Their findings? Nothing malicious, actually. CIQ Agent does exactly what CIQ says: collects device performance metrics using predefined by operator metrics profiles.

    2. Myth: CIQ sells collected data to third party.

    Reality. By agreement between CIQ and customer (operator or other party), all data belongs to a customer. CIQ does not have any rights to resell it. Read CIQ Verge interview.

    3. Myth: CIQ collects personal data.

    Reality, some info which can be considered as a private (dialed phone numbers, locations during phone calls, URLs) can be collected based on a profile activated by Operator (not by CIQ).. solely for the purpose of network problem troubleshooting and customer care support. Besides this, ALL this info is available to Operator and w/o CIQ application. Operator can even read your SMS messages :). No passwords captured, no SMS content, no other personal info is collected by CIQ Agent for the very two simple reasons: its illegal and useless for network monitoring.

    4. Myth #4: CIQ MUST provide opt-in/opt-out.

    Reality: No, you are not CIQ customer – your operator is. Ask your Operator.

    5. Myth #5: Its bloatware and I pay for traffic.

    Reality: The first one is questionable and users do not pay for the CIQ related traffic because this traffic is not BILLABLE. This is implemented by your Operator – it does not count CIQ -related traffic as billable.

    6. Myth #6 – This my phone and I want full control of it.

    In 95% of cases this is not your phone, actually. This is device that was subsidized by your Operator and was given you under some contract terms. You do not sign contracts when you buy laptop, do not you?

    1. [EDITED: Instead of posting the link to the Verge interview, I accidentally linked back to this story. It's corrected]

      Hi Vladimir, Thanks for all of your comments (You’ve been all over the board!)

      Some really good points here, but I think several of them aren’t so much myths that have been dispelled, but rather open questions that Carrier IQ, the handset vendors and operators really need to answer.

      The Verge interview you refer to is a good one. Sean Hollister does an in-depth interview with CIQ’s Andrew Coward, and while it does shed a lot of daylight on CIQ’s practices, it leaves several questions unanswered. Here’s the link for those who haven’t seen it:

      http://www.theverge.com/2011/12/5/2609662/carrier-iq-interview

      In that interview, Coward does state that CIQ sells to 3rd parties. It may not be the same data it’s collecting for the operators, and it may only be a small part of their business, but that still contradicts what CIQ has said on several other occasions. Isn’t that worth further exploration? With the carriers, at the very least I know who’s getting my data. With a third-party I have no idea who is receiving it and how it is being used. And, of course, CIQ won’t reveal those customers.

      I disagree with you on the question of who owns the phone. Subsidies aren’t leases. When you buy a phone you own it. The operator may have even you a steep discount but it did so in exchange for a 2-year binding business arrangement, but the two are distinct. If you break your contract you pay an ETF, but the phone is yours. The carrier is bound to unlock it if can.

      I’m also curious why so many people are directing their vitriol solely at the operators and seem ready to give Carrier IQ and the handset vendors a pass. True, operators are the ones that made the decision to implement the app on their devices — though Carrier IQ may be taking advantage of that implementation to make some money on the side — and they chose to not provide an opt-in. But if this winds up being a violation of privacy laws or principles, Carrier IQ, HTC and Samsung definitely seem to be accessories to the crime.

      Carrier IQ says it has no control over what the operators do, but it knows exactly what they plan to do. It’s like a gun dealer selling a weapon to a guy who admits at the point of sale he plans to kill his wife. Obviously that’s a much more extreme case, but I think the analogy still stands. I find this kind of mercenary moral relativism a disturbing. Carrier IQ says there are all philosophical questions — what it’s really doing is hiding behind its customers.

      1. Hi Kevin,
        I have read the various technical articles on Carrier IQ and based upon those, and also followup comments, it seems that Dan Rosenberg and even 0Nane who makes custom ROMs fr Android have been in contact with Trevor and there seems to be some agreement to his error. To that end it looks like there are some good questions raised here as well. Who gets to opt in or opt out, how is the data controlled and by who?
        For you as a journalist you might try contacting Carrier IQ to get answers, then you can update the article. I don’t expect to see the software maker open their source code, but I am sure to the best of their abilities they and the carriers will respond to inquiries.
        I am sure the saga of CIQ and the carriers is far from over, but hang tight and we will see.

  188. I need full disclosure, unless Yankee’s say they don’t get money from operators or CIQ, I don’t trust them!

    BTW I hate the other Yankees too :)

    1. Hi Rajesh, thanks for commenting.

      Yankee did give full disclosure on CIQ: No current or former business dealings, apart from Yankee’s initial inquiries into buying some of CIQ’s data (which they decided against. Carrier IQ doesn’t contract with Yankee for any research. Nor does Carrier IQ buy any data from Yankee.

      The operators are a different story, as our the handset vendors. Yankee has worked with them extensively in the past, which is something you should definitely weigh when interpreting their data. But Yankee by no means kowtows to the carriers. Yankee put out a damning research report on AT&T-Mo, basically foreshadowing some of the analysis the DOJ and FCC used to condemn the merger. That cost them a lot of business. Both AT&T and T-Mobile pulled out of Yankee’s annual networks conference 4G World.

      In any case, I don’t view this report as some kind of final judgement on whether Carrier IQ is “good” or “bad” — just another perspective in which to view the whole CIQ controversy. Yankee is pointing out that many consumers aren’t necessarily opposed to the sort of monitoring that carriers are doing. It’s really about how phrase the question. Or more to the point, asking your customers the question in the first place. Right?

  189. RT @gigaom: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/6tJO3qnA

  190. Key phrase “whenever there’s a problem” that does not mean all the time and it does not mean keeping records of actual use.

    Maybe if it was stored for 12 – 24 hours and purged it would be ok as it would let them look at a problem when reported. But beyond that it is invasive.

    1. Daniel Silverman Eric Sunday, December 11, 2011

      Hi Eric,
      I think in one of the articles they talk about that. To be honest though as a diagnostic tool, think of it this way. You want o monitor things before they go bad. You can spot trends, and make adjustments before people start calling. It doens’t mean store all information forever, but what you can do is create charts and graphs over time and see how things change. Bandwidth usage is increasing with the use of tablets and smart phones that just do more.
      I think as independent studies are being submitted figuring out what is wrong, and also we as the public, the law, and the companies all review their end user agreements things will get sorted, and if changes need to be made they can be.

  191. The best is opt-in as many people said.

  192. Alexandra Leisse Sunday, December 11, 2011

    Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/NBLkbUVZ on @gigaom

  193. RT @gigaom: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/AUdxmCZv

  194. Probably the carrier is the least that I would like to get my data..

  195. This was an interesting find…
    http://t.co/f6st4nmA

  196. Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/stIQwKyp via @zite

  197. UK Mobile Phones Sunday, December 11, 2011

    Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/5DKP4q9p

  198. ANTOINETTE CONNAL Sunday, December 11, 2011

    RT @ukmobilephone: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/5DKP4q9p

  199. kevin fitchard Sunday, December 11, 2011

    Lot of good discussion going on at the Carrier IQ story I posted Sat: Does the public want its phones tracked? http://t.co/WCGcrSCt

  200. Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/zZQLFtc7

  201. RT @troubalex: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/NBLkbUVZ on @gigaom

  202. I think people are missing the point, well ok not everyone but some.
    Carrier IQ sells a service to carriers. The carriers in turn have a little sentence here and there in their end user agreement which no one reads and everyone signs. So pretty much you agreed to data collection when you signed up for service, which puts Carrier IQ and Carriers in the clear.
    So when people say we weren’t informed and we didn’t know and why. Well not to be mean but you aren’t the customer that Carrier IQ talks to. Carrier IQ’s customers are carriers. Also based on the information available they are not reselling their information to anyone. If Nielsen is involved and it is opt in then one can deduce that no information is given to Nielsen until they get your ok because you become the end customer to Nielsen who in turn uses the information service provided by Carrier IQ.
    So I think here we are dealing with confusion on who is the customer who is involved and makes decisions.
    So I think really the flap doesn’t need to be with Carrier IQ, but rather the carriers. It could simply be and additional signature line regarding diagnostics collection and information usage. I think that is straight forward enough.
    We know by follow up investigations from various companies that this is not rootkit software, it is not evil, although it has been shed in a negative light.
    I understand Rick’s comment fully don’t bury it somewhere make it stand out. I hate to say this but unless the print was so small no one could read it buried or not if you signed it then from a legal stand point case closed. From a personable stand point it makes sense.
    Also people need to realize that the software maker is not doing anything that can’t be done by the carriers through other means. It has simply been designed to do it in a way that is easy to understand.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Dan.

      You have a very well-rounded viewpoint, which is rare given how contentious this controversy is becoming. Nobody seems to agree with anybody. :)

      That said, I would have argue that the customer-provider relationship is a little bit more complex in this case. If Carrier IQ were providing solely a network monitoring solution then I’d agree with you wholeheartedly. But while operators own their own network, they don’t own the devices running on them. Consumers own them and they’re paying for access to the network. Every device owner has an expectation to privacy when it comes to their own device. By installing its software on a device that will owned by a consumer not an operator, CIQ bears some responsibility.

      CIQ is acting as an agent for operators, but that doesn’t absolve it. If you view this whole controversy as an invasion of privacy, then I think you have to hold all of the players accountable — the carriers may be ordering CIQ to do wrong, but CIQ is still doing wrong.

  203. Daniel Silverman Sunday, December 11, 2011

    uhm I hate to throw this in here at this very second but…. Has anyone checked out Trevor’s linked in Profile?
    He says he works for http://www.telogis.com since Feb 2011. hhmm something smells fishy about this. Take a look at what they do?

  204. Tilted Forum Project Sunday, December 11, 2011

    RT @gigaom: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/toG3LXsI

  205. RT @louiebaur: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/jXBajH0H

  206. RT @louiebaur: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/jXBajH0H

  207. hangaroundtheweb Sunday, December 11, 2011

    Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/R13IX4VN

  208. RT @louiebaur: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/jXBajH0H

  209. RT @louiebaur: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/jXBajH0H

  210. RT @louiebaur: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/jXBajH0H

  211. RT @louiebaur: Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/jXBajH0H

  212. michael d holland Sunday, December 11, 2011

    Really? Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked http://t.co/w2505q4h

  213. Ninety10 Group Monday, December 12, 2011

    Carrier IQ aside, the public may want their phones tracked! — http://t.co/p6xEWTUg

  214. lara srivastava Monday, December 12, 2011

    does the public want their phone tracked? http://t.co/ZuXGP5MF