Jan 17 AT 1:34 PM Edgar Cervantes 15 Comments

Official: HTC starts removing Carrier IQ from Sprint devices

sprint-store

Carrier IQ was one of the hottest topics toward the end of 2011. This app would send information about your every move to a server, causing an uproar in the Android community over privacy concerns. After possible lawsuits showed up, Sprint decided to turn the Carrier IQ switch off (leave it dormant) and asked OEMs to remove this little spy from their line-ups[1]. If you have been worried about your personal information, you can now breathe easy; the process has already begun.

After the HTC EVO 3D received an update for unknown purposes, people dug in deeper. Sure enough, the Carrier IQ files were no longer present in the new update, making EVO 3D devices safer than ever[2].

The guys from The Verge were not completely satisfied, though, and decided to reach out to HTC for more information. The Taiwanese manufacturer did confirm that Sprint had ordered them to remove the software. Here’s what they had to say:

HTC can confirm that we're working with Sprint to provide maintenance releases that will remove Carrier IQ and provide security enhancements and bug fixes beginning in January.SpokespersonHTC

As The Verge mentions, it’s unlikely that Sprint will want to lose access to at least some of the information provided by Carrier IQ. Such information is vital for planning ahead and providing better customer satisfaction, and Sprint might be simply replacing it for something else. Hopefully it will be a service that does not record so many details. Being able to opt-out would also be a great option.

There you go, guys. If you’re the proud owner of an HTC EVO 3D, you’re now in the safe zone (as long as you have that update). As for the rest of you, just stay put and wait for your updates.

References

  1. Via Geek.com
  2. Via Android Central

Via: The Verge

Hello, I am Edgar Cervantes. I am an avid Android fan, and keeping myself updated on the topic is part of my daily life. I will always work hard to give the best of me to our community of Android enthusiasts, and I am very honored to be part of this ship. Hopefully we can all enjoy sharing our knowledge and opinions!

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  • http://pixelswim.com Steve Heinrich

    Reading about HTC unlocking bootloaders and attempting to remove Carrier IQ is a good move move them. Any bad publicity can sink you these days. It seems, at first glance, that HTC might actually care about what consumers think and are acting on it. Hopefully more manufacturers can take on this ideal.

    …All of this said with a small skepticism.

    • http://pixelswim.com Steve Heinrich

      *move for them

    • honourbound68

      agreed. good job by HTC on both. HTC’s stock has risen in my book. I was thinking of getting a nexus to keep things vanilla but i’m not in love with sammy as a manufacturer. with the good will htc and asus have shown to their customers, my next phone will be from one of the two.

  • spazby

    Excellent

  • koorsr

    My guess is that you’re going to see more and more of the carriers/manufacturers starting to remove Carrier IQ from their devices. The bad PR probably outweighs the information they were able to gather.

    • Edgar Cervantes

      The Carrier IQ deal became a huge scandal in the mobile industry. You are right, why would you care for that information if your customers are going to start leaving (Sprint is not doing as good as we wish, already). Add lawsuits and legal issues to the equation and the solution is very clear…

      • LukeT32

        and I find it wierd that Carrier wasn’t on any VZW phones. VZW is usually all about gathering my info and doing things that tend to make me un-happy. Yet they were the first to say they had never used the service… :)

        • Richard Yarrell

          I have to agree with LukeT32 i would’ve thought Verizon or At&t to be the leader in this area. Being a former Evo 3d owner on my beloved sprint it is what it is. Meanwhile Verizon is kool…

          • Sanchanim

            I am sure Verizon is using a different tool which hasn’t been discovered yet. Being able to get metrics from the wild is very valuable. Looking for statistical trends will help carriers to provide better service.
            There are a few less known companies out there that do the same thing. Apple seems like it is releasing it’s own product to analyze itself.
            Carrier IQ isn’t the one to blame in this. HTC did a crappy implementation, and the Carriers didn’t have transparency with regard to the tool being used. To that end though I think they felt they didn’t need to tell you since you signed the EULA which covers diagnostic and performance data.
            I am not saying it is good or bad, just it was how they felt about it. I am sure we will see an opt out switch soon for Carrier IQ, and if Sprint doesn’t go full bore with some other product they will turn it back on once certain criteria are met.

  • Hall Lo

    Nice move, really nice move

  • Nathan D.

    Lucky people, sprint seem to always make their customers happy.

  • glennw

    I’m still waiting for Sprint/HTC to release a fix to my Evo’s constant Sense restart problem. Will they have it fixed before the release of Sprint’s Galaxy Nexus, I wonder?

  • Samar

    about time.

  • Sanchanim

    Check out Smith Micro. they will now be used by Sprint. They are right up the street from where Trevor Eckhart works, although I don’t see official work between the two companies it does have me scratching my head.
    Also they disabled it, I don’t know how a simple update would remove the embedded agent. They might have simply turned it off for now but it wouldn’t be that hard to turn it back on either. If they stay with Carrier IQ in the long run.

  • WlfHart

    Another small win!