Sprint to disable Carrier IQ

Sprint to disable Carrier IQ

Summary: Sprint had Carrier IQ installed on 26 million handsets.

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TOPICS: Telcos
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Sprint is to disable the Carrier IQ software on all of its handsets and has stopped collecting data from it, according to MobileBurn.

Sprint was using Carrier IQ to collecting diagnostic data on 26 million handsets made by Audiovox, Franklin, HTC, Huawei, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, Novatel, PalmOne, Samsung, Sanyo, and Sierra Wireless. Some 1.3 million devices are set to send data back to the carrier at any one time.

AT&T has Carrier IQ installed on some 900,000 handsets, with some 575,000 sending data back to the carrier.

It's been a tough December for Carrier IQ. First the controversy about the software logging user information on handsets, then the admission that a bug may have caused text message data to be intercepted, then coming under scrutiny from the FTC and the FCC, and now being dropped by a major carrier.

In relation to the FTC and FCC investigations, a Carrier IQ spokeswoman said that the company was “complying with all investigations at this time as we have nothing to hide. We have been completely transparent through this process.”

The capabilities of Carrier IQ were first bought to light by 25-year-old Trevor Eckhart.

If Carrier IQ is innocuous and provides the carriers with important diagnostic data, why is Sprint dumping it? Does bad publicity outweigh the benefits the software offers?

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Topic: Telcos

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18 comments
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  • RE: Sprint to disable Carrier IQ

    I am one of the few with the HTC Arrive, a Windows Phone 7 device, so I am one of the few on Sprint that doesn't have Carrier IQ.
    Shmythey
    • RE: Sprint to disable Carrier IQ

      @Shmythey

      Anyone with a custom Android ROM on Sprint phones has it removed too. It'll be nice for us ROM makers not to have to remove it ourselves though.
      toadlife
      • RE: Sprint to disable Carrier IQ

        @toadlife

        Nice to see you posting here. Voodoo found CIQ on my phone with Legendary RC2. It was inactive until I ran the wifi hotspot. It then went to 370 on my Epic 4g. I rooted it because of CIQ and the broken gps. Two issues where Sprint was rude to me.

        Sent on Nook tablet/Sideloaded Dolphin via Epic


        Sent
        rp518
    • RE: Sprint to disable Carrier IQ

      @Shmythey just because you do not have Carrier IQ, does not mean you do not have a different variant (Microsoft???s own built-in telemetry) of this spyware.
      Rick_Kl
      • RE: Sprint to disable Carrier IQ

        @Rick_Kl
        yes, the one you wrote still exists.
        Ram U
      • RE: Sprint to disable Carrier IQ

        @Rama.NET Microsoft has already admitted to having this software on the phones. Why does it upset you so much? Is it the lack of a higher moral ground that has you so upset? Apple was proclaimed to be so evil for keeping data on the phone (and computer it synced with), yet Microsoft has been keeping a similar database on remote Microsoft servers. You have never answered which you think is worse. I know which is worse, but do you?
        Rick_Kl
      • RE: Sprint to disable Carrier IQ

        @Rick_Kl
        >>Why does it upset you so much?

        First please tell us why does any news upset you so much and makes you to drag Microsoft into it even if the news doesn't say anything about it.

        Could you please also clarify that Apple wasn't storing the locationgate information for future reads? I don't believe anything online whether it is from Apple, Microsoft or Google because I have no insight into their architectures.

        Note: it seems you are paid by CarrierIQ, otherwise you wouldn't post your drivel supporting them by mud throwing on Microsoft. I think I might be close if not right.
        Ram U
      • RE: Sprint to disable Carrier IQ

        @Rama.NET Actually Rick_Kl was not the one who brought up Microsoft or it's products - that was Shmythey who Rick_Kl was responding to. And yes Microsoft DOES have their own version of Carrier IQ running on WP7.
        athynz
      • RE: Sprint to disable Carrier IQ

        @Pete "athynz" Athens<br>Hmm, please tell when is the last time Rick_kl didn't bring up Microsoft into a non-Microsoft topic? Also could you care to prove your claim that Microsoft also tracks, please don't talk about pre-Mango Windows Phone, talk about the current one in production. I need concrete proof, not hearsay blogs written by the Apple/Google drones.
        Ram U
  • RE: Sprint to disable Carrier IQ

    My iPhone has it disabled by default so no worries here.
    The Danger is Microsoft
    • RE: Sprint to disable Carrier IQ

      and I just read that Apple will remove it completely at the next software update.
      The Danger is Microsoft
    • Not exactly

      @The Danger is Microsoft

      If you have iOS5 you can choose to disable it.
      However, if o one told that it was CIQ behind the scenes asking you to help Apple you'd never know.
      rhonin
      • Incorrect

        @rhonin
        Apple stopped using CarrierIQ before iOS5 was released. It was only on pre-iOS5 devices, and those are the ones where it will soon be removed.

        Also, (and this is why I wish Sprint had the iPhone last year) the iPhone is the only handset where you actually have to opt-in before it will send any data to anyone. So unless you opted in, you don't need to disable anything. You are right that even after opting in, you can disable it yourself without having to root the phone.
        use_what_works_4_U
      • Look again - its there

        @macadam

        The only difference between 5 and earlier versions is on 5 you can opt out

        It's there.
        rhonin
  • Nice, but how?

    How does Sprint plan to accomplish this?
    Roll out updates for all the phones on their network?
    How do they plan on handling the iPhone?

    Why do I think Mobileburn is peddling FUD atm?

    :|
    rhonin
    • Sprint customer

      @rhonin
      You called it. I'm a Sprint customer and in the last year I've had 2 over the air OS updates, 3 firmware updates and a setting reset pushed from Sprint at my request. Rolling out updates is exactly the way to fix this.

      Sprint's iPhones are all iOS5 and according to Apple, they left CarrierIQ out of iOS5 so no update is needed there.
      use_what_works_4_U
      • Check again

        @macadam
        Apple said they stopped supporting it with 5 and a number of security experts and devs have shown it is still in 5.

        Apple did say they were planning on removing it in a future update.
        rhonin
    • RE: Sprint to disable Carrier IQ

      @rhonin

      The Apple statement, in part, was "We stopped supporting Carrier IQ with iOS 5 in most of our products and will remove it completely in a future software update."

      Rhonin, please note, the Apple statement used the phrase - stopped SUPPORTING (caps mine).

      I suspect that the code is still there but inactive and not used by Apple. However, they indicated that their clarifying remarks pertained to most Apple products. Apple did leave a little wiggly room open for conspiracy theorists.
      kenosha77a