Dec 01 AT 6:35 PM Anthony Domanico 131 Comments

Carrier IQ: What we believe to be the key issues


Unless you’ve been, you know, doing things out in the real world, you’ve probably noticed that the Carrier IQ story is the hottest topic on the interwebs right now. The Verge has a running story stream with 13 related stories (as of 4pm CST), and venturing over to just about any other tech related news site will give you Carrier IQ overload, with companies confirming or denying that they use the service, Carrier IQ promising to release an official statement of what they do and don’t do, insightful commentary, and general fits of fear and anger (mainly in the comments).

Please note that this post does not intend to give you a full understanding of the whole Carrier IQ debacle. We highly recommend that you read The Verge’s story stream (seriously, it’s good and comprehensive) to fully educate yourself on the situation. What we will do is give you a brief overview of what we think Carrier IQ does and what we think the key underlying problems are.

So what is Carrier IQ?

Carrier IQ is a company that tracks an exorbitant amount of mobile user data at the request of carriers and phone manufacturers. Basically, Carrier IQ can track almost everything you do on your cell phone, even encrypted information, and even while your phone isn’t connected to a network. Creepy, right?

Sprint has recently gone on the record stating that they do in fact use the Carrier IQ service, and that the service is an integral part of the Sprint service, allowing the company to collect information that allows it to provide customers a better overall experience. According to Sprint, they are using Carrier IQ to determine when phones are performing poorly, be it with Sprint’s network or a bug in the phone’s software. Sprint uses this information to improve its cellular network and works with device manufacturers to push out bugfixes for their devices.

This is but one example of how companies can use data provided by Carrier IQ to deliver a better customer experience, but that’s not what people are afraid of and angry about.

So what are people so afraid and angry about?

It seems people are angry about three things.

First, Carrier IQ’s applications are opt-in by default and automatically run every time you turn on your smartphone. What’s worse is that there is no way to opt out of this service unless you root your phone and install a custom ROM that doesn’t have the software. We would likely not have heard of Carrier IQ if they simply would have prompted users to opt into their tracking program when we first activate and set up our Android devices like Google does in their set-up service.

The very fact that a program that has insanely high access to our personal unencrypted data without our knowledge is a serious faux-pas.

Secondly, though we have a good idea of what information is potentially at risk (seriously, almost everything – the permissions list for this app is ginormous), what we don’t yet know exactly how this information is being stored and whether our personal information is being kept safe.

In fact, these are two of the key points that prompted Minnesota Senator Al Franken to send Carrier IQ a nasty-gram demanding that they come clear on their business practices.

Finally, people are understandably a little peeved at the utter lack of transparency on the part of Carrier IQ. When it comes to potential violations of privacy, people want to know two things: what information is being tracked and how do I stop it. So far Carrier IQ has failed to provide a real answer to either of these questions, though they do promise an official statement is coming soon pending an independent testing of their service. Though this is a good move, as a positive opinion from an impartial third party will have a much higher impact on the consumer trusting the service in the future, it has the unfortunate side effect of creating a wave of distrust.

Bottom Line

Yes, this is a very simple analysis of an extremely complex situation. Still, we can’t help but believe that the biggest snafus have been how Carrier IQ has handled the controversy, such as sending a cease and desist letter to the security researcher who found the service on his device (which they later rescinded with apologies), or stating that their service doesn’t track things that it clearly has access to in the permissions list.

The fix for this problem is very clear in everyone’s mind: tell us exactly what you’re tracking and allow us to opt-out if we so choose; better yet, don’t force us to opt-in by default. This would solve everyone’s problem with the service, and would allow Carrier IQ’s customers to get the information they need to better their service.

What do you guys think? Are we missing something here? Are you more angry about the Carrier IQ service in and of itself, or do you agree that it’s mostly been the way Carrier IQ has handled the fallout?

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • stenzor

    While gathering some information about consumers is a great way to target products, find bugs, and improve user experience, Carrier IQ’s methods are a gross violation of privacy rights. There’s absolutely no need for them to gather data so private.

    • Dylan

      Couldn’t agree more especially in the fact there is no opt out from the service that is being “provided” to the user. Information being gathered to provide a better consumer user interface and overall better product in the way its being gather is not worth it. The everyday user of the smartphone hasn’t rooted their device and therefore cannot remove such privacy violation and this will be cause a lot more problem that it is helping.

      • Grandpa Thetic

        I agree. Android is mainly for hom0se.xuals and fa.ggots.

      • Inquizitor

        On the plus side, this makes a great case for rooting and ROMing. Used this to convince a friend of mine to get the CM9 alpha or CM7 on his SGSII.

        • wyngo

          Did you seriously recommend that a friend who has never even rooted their phone try an alpha build?

        • Homncruse

          I hope you enjoy tech support if he installs the alpha, because guess who has two thumbs and a call log full of tech support calls every time the tiniest thing goes wrong?

          <– No, not this guy.
          ^^ That guy.

    • erikiksaz

      GOOD NEWS. According to droid-life, CarrierIQ has just been hit with a SENATE investigation requiring them to address all of our concerns. Glad to know that those who can have an effect are actually concerned as well.

      • kazahani

        First time for everything, I suppose.

        Nice to see the FCC was caught napping AGAIN.

    • Richard Grueber

      Amen to that..

  • smithey253

    As long as they aren’t going to do anything bad with the data they collect, I don’t mind it. If it is helping fix bugs and solve problems such as call dropouts, then I really don’t mind it running on my phone.

    However, if I choose to install a custom rom that has carrierIQ removed, I will be happy to know that none of my data is being tracked by the software.

    • stenzor

      It’s a little shady if they are not upfront about it… for example, Google is fairly upfront about how they gather information on you in order to serve you relevant ads. There’s a page explaining the process, as well as a way to opt-out. What organizations like Carrier IQ need to realize is no matter how hard they try to cover something up, somebody will always find out… and the longer it took someone to find out, the more severe the consequences will be.

      • smithey253

        Google do it the right way, they always mention their tracking and why they are doing it. Maybe they haven’t done the right thing in a few cases (wifi ssids from streetview cars) but I totally agree that carrierIQ should have been a bit more open about the whole thing.

        I would love to see some kind of opt out process come from all of this, I’m sure it must be a possibility for them to offer.

    • WarDrake

      The service itself if we can call it that, is the problem, the amount of data it tracks is INSANE and unnecesary, i say CarrierIQ needs to be gone… permanently!

      • azswift

        How do we know our information is secure? This information cache could be used by other, malicious software without our knowledge too. Hidden and possibly insecure stores of my private information shouldn’t existing without my permission and knowledge that I accept the risk.

  • oddball

    What amazes me about the situation isn’t that the carriers used this and hid it it’s that VERIZON of all of them doesn’t use it and has always offered the option to opt out of their data collection methods. This is one of those major fubars for a company. Even if it comes out that none of this information that they can collect is collected it makes customers feel unsafe and that makes for bad business especially when a company appears to be hiding what they have done

    • Heroine Headliner


      Bloatware an high prices >>>>> stealin info from innocent people like ya boi…..

      • David

        In Tarantino style, I’m going to downvote every single motherf* who replies to this heroine nonsense in this page!

        • David

          And yes, you jokers, starting with me…

        • Heroine Headliner

          U don’t kno my struggle…..

          U don’t kno my pain…..

          U don’t kno what I been thru…..


  • Tal

    Honestly if I learn that my Canadian carrier is using it – I will move immediately. No delay. This is for me a violation of trust. And probably also a good ground for a suite.
    Verizon e.g. claimed they DO NOT use it.
    If people in the US had some backbone – Sprint would see 15% less subscribers tomorrow.

    • james bricknell

      Verizon claim they dont but there are VZW exclusive phones that have it on….

    • r0llerbabe

      Tell me how to get out of the $200 per phone contract and I’d be most happy to change.

  • Heroine Headliner

    Dis shit is shady…..

    A BAWSE like ya boi need privacy, nahmean…..

    Dis be da reason I be switching tudda iPhone…..

    Apple would NEVER do dis…..


    • stenzor

      Not sure if serious…

      • Heroine Headliner

        Dead serious…..

        I been fiendin 4 tha nexus prime fo a hot minute…..

        But I’m from tha hood, ya dig?

        Tha type of business I be conductin on my cellular could be compromised by this android spyware…..

        That’s why I’m switchin to #teamFRUIT

        • james bricknell

          That was the worst piece of english i have ever seen,

          Apple also has carrier IQ. enjoy the fruit :)

          • Heroine Headliner

            No they don’t…..

            Jobs was against this ish…..

            I THAUGHT google was too…..

            Larry Paige…..u broke my heart b…..real talk…..

          • james bricknell

            Apple do have it on all versions of ios. It is a carrier requested app. Apple released a statwment saying its on there.

            Dont believe me? Look it up.

            Try google they are goos for searching for stuff.

          • Heroine Headliner

            If I’m wrong then I’m wrong…..I’m a man…..I’m 40…..I can admit dat…..

            I thaught apple said dat that ish was not on iOS5…..

            Lemme go bing it and find out…..

            No hard feelins b…..

    • orginn

      I think you need read that apple always had it and only a few devices with ios5 that don’t have it…..if you need a link check out engadget pertaining this subject…..

      Enjoy your god fruit

    • WarDrake

      Apple has CarrierIQ in it too… just so you know ^_^

      • Anthony Domanico

        Well, they had it up to iOS5. Most iOS5 devices don’t have it, though some still do (still can’t quite figure that one out).

  • darkhorse166

    Wouldn’t something like Carrier IQ that’s able to monitor a phone’s operation in as much detail as it does be almost tantamount to wiretapping?

    • AndroidJunkie

      It appears to log everything, so sure. it’s true intentions could well be to provide those services to agencies that request (and are granted) wiretap approval. Because there is such a thing as lawful interception, there must be means of doing so. So yes, expect those services to exist, if not this app, it could still be hiding. I somewhat doubt Carrier IQ is doing that though since it seems they’re a little too sloppy with the data going out (not encrypted?).

      Here’s a cellphone wiretap example from 2006, remotely enabling a cell phone’s mic.

      and cell phones in general have certainly advanced a bit in 6 years, so it’d be ignorant to think they haven’t done their part to keep up.

  • charliethesuperturtle

    I knew there was something stalking my friend, but it wasn’t that odd girl I thought it was. Oh well.

  • Deeds

    I just hope that Cyanogenmod 7 doesn’t have Carrier IQ

    • james bricknell

      cyanogen doesn’t

    • cthonctic

      AOSP doesn’t include this because it’s added by the carriers and not part of the original OS, so Nexus phones and Cyanogenmod are safe.

      • james bricknell

        i found out that no UK carriers use it either. just FYI

  • TJungus

    I am just curious… WHERE in my Sprint contract does it explain that they do this and that I have spyware installed on my phone by default?

  • james bricknell

    just to give some recognition to the “researcher” his name is Trevor Eckhart (xda username TrevE) this guy hasnt been paid to research this but has done it for the same reason we all do stuff for the community. we love it.

    he has worked tirelessly to find as much info as he can and i think he deserves much props!

    also thanks to the EFF for helping him defend himself from Ciq

    • Heroine Headliner

      Is we even sure dis dude can be trusted…..

      Cuz I was convinced…..

      Then I wasnt…..

      No I’m confused…..

      But I got sensitive info on my phone dat can’t be given tudda Feds……or I’m goin back tudda pen…..

      I can’t go back…..10 years was enuff, nahmean?

  • RzR

    Another reason to install a custom ROM. I live in Portugal and I don’t think the carriers here do something like this, but they fill the phones with too much trash.
    I don’t mind sending some data for bug fixes and statistics, but at least I want to know when I’m being tracked.

  • Mighty_O

    I say burn that company to the ground!!

    • WarDrake

      And spread it’s ashes right in front of the carriers headquarters, as a warning to to pull this kind of crap on users ever again!

  • Nick Brian

    Ok. I will never buy an android phone again.


    • Heroine Headliner


    • Ari32

      Apple uses it too. So I guess you’re off to get a Windows phone… Have fun with that, tho I’m sure they use it too or something similar. Just root your Android phone, and voila, problem solved.

    • cxandroid

      Blackberry seems to be using it also.

  • omgjoz

    I joined Sprint when the Galaxy S2 came out… I’m finding reason day-after-day, why I should leave back for TMobile.

    • Anthony Domanico

      T-Mobile uses Carrier IQ too.

  • SCJaredJ

    This is pretty crazy. Carrier IQ might be used for a good purpose, but it’s a bit scary to think of the permissions this thing has and how vulnerable the Carrier IQ apps themselves might be to a malicious attack on your phone. Seems like if you could hack into carrier IQ, it’d be game over/done/all of my information at your fingertips.

  • spintrex

    Can this be part of the reason as to why smartphone batteries don’t last long on a single charge?

    • mikeyDroid

      haha, I was thinking that – it must have some negative effect on overall phone performance, no?

      • spintrex

        I would think so, probably nothing too significant but it has to be something…..unless the info is being sent simultaneously whenever syncing with the network, gps, or wi-fi.

  • Ian MacGregor

    After everything that has transpired until now, do you really think anyone with an ounce of common sense is going to believe anything Carrier IQ says from this point on?

    I will only buy phones for which root and roms are available from now on.

  • olentz

    If what they’re doing is so noble and beneficial for everyone, why they are so afraid of telling the truth? Nothing to hide, no?

  • Billy

    Al Franken is an old sack of horse poo.

  • mikeyDroid

    Just more of a reason for Verizon TO RELEASE MY NEXUS.

  • YMS123

    What they need to do is give a detailed description of what the program actually does and have the option to opt in or opt out, and everyone will be happy….unless we learn they’ve been accessing private information, in which case CLASS ACT

  • Jack

    This scares me. I use AT&T and have an ATRIX 2. I don’t know if AT&T or Motorola uses this or not. I know Samsung has it on all phones, but this NEEDS to have a COMPLETE opt out option. I don’t want them tracking shit. There will be enough people out there allowing the tracking of their data. I am furious about this and how they threatened to sue the dude who found out about them. Obviously people didn’t know about them and they were happy and fine with people not. I am FURIOUS. I am happy this senator dude wrote and sent them this letter. This should have NEVER been allowed to happen. My phone with MY data. I don’t want ANYONE to see it. I am oddly comfy with Google, but I get to opt out if I want.

  • hiram

    who cares really

    • james bricknell

      I think about 65 people on this thread care..

    • Charlesbrown79

      I’m going to think people who conduct business on their phones or the people who pay their bills on their phones. Anyone who has ever used a financial site with a password or pin (i.e. a bank). You know basic information you try not to let others have.

  • cheeseasaurus

    I think that an underlying software that tracks only what carriers need to maintain proper networks is a must have replacement for the current Carrier IQ. And even that needs to be a prompt on first boot of devices with a full disclosure. Naturally, Carrier IQ could step up to develop and provide this. Of course, a new company stepping in with software for carriers could be the proverbial nail in the coffin for Carrier IQ.

    • cheeseasaurus

      Note: not saying that nail in the coffin wasn’t yet hammered in.

  • cmorris

    I read all about CarrierIQ and then went out and crushed my phone with a hammer. I forgot to call my lawyer first.

    It was surprisingly hard to find a payphone and ever harder to remember his number.

  • BlkSquad

    Two letters one number… CM9

  • Inquizitor

    I’ll be honest, I never really gave a crap when all those stories broke about Apple and/or Google tracking location. This, however, is the first privacy risk to legitimately concern me. Weird stuff, I must say. For once, I’m happy to say Verizon chose NOT to put something bad on their phones!

  • Eludium-Q36

    Sending this to Dan Hesse’s (Sprint CEO) office Friday morning:

    I haven’t gotten a reply or call from your office reps yet, and even more information has arisen in the Press about this and Sprint’s involvement. Sprint has admitted utilizing this software on phones we, the public, have purchased. My recently purchased Epic 4G/Galaxy S2 cell is my phone, not Sprint’s, and I have the right to disable/deactivate what is basically a trojan spyware application on my device. I suspect that you have administrative procedures and command codes that we can enter into our phones to disable this software. I would like for your reps to tell me exactly how to do this. By the way, I will not upgrade my wife’s Samsung Instinct HD cell to a newer Android cell until you tell me how to disable Carrier IQ on phones. Do the Right Thing, Mr Hesse.

    • ihatefanboys

      why ?? I agree the phone is yours but without Sprints service what good is “your” phone ?? Betcha didnt think about that one now did u ??

  • mimogear

    To me as long as any naked pictures or bank account numbers aren’t looked at I could care less. huHuhuhhu So many would disagree with me~

  • mikeytusa

    I think Congress should make it so that carriers aren’t allowed to touch phones made by other manufacturers. There’s far too much intrusion for data from the carriers — all of them. From usage tracking to bloatware, keep it off my damn phone. I pay way too much for my phone and service to not have a have a right to privacy and freedom of choice.

    In addition to that, manufacturers should stop ruining my nice Android OS with their crappy skins … but that battle is for another day.

  • Seattle

    2 questions,

    1. How much system resources does CiQ use
    2. However much data does CiQ use that am paying for?

  • Seattle

    Also the fact CiQ is installed without my knowledge can only lead me to believe they are collecting information they should not be because if it was all legitimate they would be up front with us.

    I think there needs to be severe punishment imposed to make an example out of any carrier with these shady practices.

  • Ian MacGregor

    Many of you are forgetting one very important thing: Once CarrierIQ have our info, how secure are they keeping it? How difficult is it for someone with malicious intent to hack into Carrier IQ systems and steal our info to sell to the highest bidder? Computers are broken into all the time, I’m sure CarrirIQ’s systems aren’t immune. With the public now knowing what we know it would seem that breaking into CarrierIQ systems would be an attractive prize as it would yield a ton of valuable info.

  • dnar56

    What do you expect? Google is run by the nsa. You think they don’t have every piece of data traced, tracked, and recorded? Of course they do. You don’t live in a free world anymore. This is all part of the 1984 Orwellian take over for a new world order I.e. global govt that will track your every keystroke like in china. Anywho have a good day oh and 9/11 was an inside job.

  • dnar56

    And this is probably the biggest reason my thunderbolt has a 2 hour battery life

  • frusak

    omg I love he cover picture mr.makay!
    maybe the first smile of the day!

    • Anthony Domanico

      haha.. all props to Sean Riley for that one.

      • ags29

        You had me at “Mmmkay..”

  • Mil

    I’m so glad this has come to light. Complete violation of user’s privacy. If my phone has this then I will be taking off the crapware ASAP. I will also boycott all carriers that are installing this by default. I think in UK O2 and Vodafone seem to not have used this at all but I’ll need to check.

  • Kam_Pewter

    Even if the carriers are using the data for benign purposes, it’s only a matter of time before this data is leaked and absolutely everything youve done on your phone is revealed to some hacker(s) with malicious intent. Yet another reason to root your phone, if you ask me.

  • Dr. Fill

    Quit saying you are my advocate. I didn’t ask you to be one for me. Unlike apple users, we don’t need you to do the thinking for me.

  • ebrewer

    Seems like the original post and most of the comments have missed an important fact: Whether or not anyone at the carriers or Carrier IQ is doing anything (good OR bad) with the stream of data, the fact that it IS being sent UNENCRYPTED means every password and PIN code you type is also streaming out over the ether for someone else to intercept! Holy crap, best reason I know for rooting a phone!

  • itzxdjx

    This ish kray, not saying that it is not important but there are much more important issues in the world, that is as long as the data isn’t to sensitive!

  • Toonshorty

    Would you mind having someone stand over your shoulder stealing your passwords and viewing your browsing history every time you use your phone? No, you wouldn’t.

    This is no different, if not worse.

    It’s theft of information, it’s shady and it’s just asking for hackers to steal all the information.

    This should be made Opt-In and it should also clearly explain what CarrierIQ is and does.

  • Droid Dewd

    Once again, Cyanogen proves he can makes your phone better than what it came with. I am not as worried about what they are doing with the data Ibut their actions worry me more because you have to wonder what is the need for secrets when it comes to something like this.

    But I will be watching to see what comes from all of this mess. You would think companies would realize by now that people take privacy very seriously.

  • wyngo

    Two things scare me now:

    1. Are there other companies we haven’t heard of like CarrierIQ that supply similar “services” and do they collect as much private data? This would explain Verizon not using CarrierIQ.

    2. How many malware “CarrierIQ killers” will we see in the near future?

  • SteveBallmer

    Android = cheap shitty iOS imitation.
    WiMo = even shittier Android imitation.
    iOS = original, well implemented, beautifully designed and stable.

  • OutofPlace

    Situations and revelations like this surprise me not at all. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that these kinds of invasions of privacy are to be expected, but in the same vein companies like CarrierIQ are only taking advantage of the same technological advances we as consumers are. If there wasn’t a vehicle through which we could stay in complete communication and contact like the one smartphones provide then there wouldn’t be anything for CarrierIQ to exploit.

    I’m not saying it is right, I’m not saying we as consumers should just roll/bend over and take it. But realize that there are less than forthright forces in this world that will exploit the advantage. It’s the same as you get with cars. Cars are far safer when used safely. But cars can be used unsafely too. We can speed, swerve, run red lights, change lanes without signalling, etc. Is the answer to make cars that don’t allow this (a serious step back in technology IMO) or do we keep moving forward with technology advances and go after the ones who would mishandle it?

    I for one pick the latter. But doing so is reactionary. Just as this case with CarrierIQ. I’m all for congress opening them up and having a look. If they are doing something wrong they should be punished. In the meantime I plan on using my G2x just as I’ve always done because I like the things it does for me. What more can I do really?

    • jsweetser2

      Spot on, the only caveat i have with your comment is the reactionary part. Our laws have been in place for a number of years now to prevent this from happening. Every phone needs and FCC clearance, every car needs inspection..etc before they are released to the public.

      Every app on IOS and Android market has some scrutiny before it is allowed to the public.

      The question is, how did something so invasive and perhaps illegal, 1) Get adopted by carriers in the first place and 2) become a part of our lives without our knowledge?

  • Luke Haviland

    nuke em

  • bwmanx

    Allowing this to be loaded as a root kit is really bad. I hope the carriers are raked over the coals for this and real change happens about the data they can collect and how they collect it.

  • jsweetser2

    If it were Google, they can track my baby for all i care. Fact of the matter is; who the heck is CarrierIQ, how long have they been around, what is their privacy policy, when did i agree to it? That ad blurb makes great sense, and if data useage is used for JUST that, go for it. However, if EVERYTHING i poke on my phone is tracked, that kind of data can be used to market unsolicited advertisements; or to a larger scope; completely transform the mobile media outlet (For better or worse).

    These things need to be tread on carefully, and one thing we enjoy in America is choices. Google is always up front: Can we get data? Can we transmit it? No? Ok use our program anyway. CarrierIQ and their system have been largely unnoticed for YEARS, and the attack on the guy who uncovered it just made the situation worse.

    Every president of the United States knows one thing; either keep the secret secret with every power you have, or let everyone know what you’re doing ahead of time first and take the beating.

  • ihatefanboys

    I’m not concerned really. To be concerned with only one means of collecting my personal data while ignoring all the rest is a grand waste of time in my book. When you surf the internet on your laptop, buy something online, pay your bills over the internet its all being collected anyways.

    To be OK with all that but get your panties in a bunch over them gettin what slight information you have on your personal cell phone is kind of silly, dont ya think ?

    With all the apps ive ever downloaded ive never really looked at permissions, and thats 3 yrs worth. I dont think it happens, but if someone really wants to look at my call log, or read my text messages and be bored to tears then go for it…i have bigger concerns.

    I suppose i can understand the concerns but I’m not worried about it, in my opinion I think that if anyone , including the government wants to get my personal info, they can get it, its not hard to do, everything we do on the net, or on our phones, is cataloged in some fashion. If you really want to believe that “opting out” stops all of it, then give me some of what youre drinking.

    Lets hope when we elect the new president next year he takes the first step, and kills the Patriot Act, thats what gives the govt free range to wiretap anyones phone or cell phone, not some hidden app.

    Just my thoughts.

    • munsterwrench

      I agree if the gov really wants your info , they can get it , hope the next president kills the patriot act

  • nmoline

    This isn’t a terribly big deal to me; but should probably be opt out.

  • ramenchef

    It should definitely be an opt-out thing. I do think people are overreacting just a little bit, though. What they really need to do is use a proxy/DNS server to record exactly what the carrierIQ is sending out.

  • myandroid99

    why did it take that long for anyone to discover carrier iq??

  • gherea

    I’ve tested with Lookout carrier iq detector and I’m clean :)

  • latouffe

    Hmmm, well i dont believe in them :P

  • fede77m

    Love cyanogenmod! Ridiculous that at this times…

  • ccn_cristi

    I have CyanogenMod, no need to worry about this.

    The general feeling, from my point of view at least is that they are going to far with all this data collecting so they can “better” provide us with relevant offers and services. All of them, not just a particular manufacturer or network…
    That’s why custom ROMs and pure Android experience phones(Nexus line) are all i want!

    • bwmanx

      I just got my gingerbread touchwiz update. Even though verizion didn’t have CIQ, I might try rooting and doing CyanogenMod. Despite not havign CIG, I do hate the uninstallable bloatware.

  • hirschtec

    I love South Park:)

  • mjtaylo1

    Yeah, opt-ing out should definitely be an option, but I feel like this whole situation got way overblown.

  • wontsttle4less

    thanks for sharing

  • WowoW

    I just love the south park reference!

  • Junolupus

    Sounds interesting

  • Kevin Amundson

    Just one more reason why I love Cyanogen Mod. I don’t have to worry about Carrier IQ.

  • spattigilli

    We do not clearly know what information, they are collecting. Based on the video, it just the user experience with the device on the network. If if this the only purpose, then it s a value addition. But I think we need to wait till we get hear official comment from carrier IQ and what they are collecting and what they are doing with it. If they are really collecting personal information, then it is a violation, we can raise against.

    But how are they using the data that they are collecting. For example if a smartphone is having bugs like getting frozen, are they able to those. If they do why should we always go to forums raise our voices to get the problems fixed, Why cannot they take a proactive step t resolve this like these if they are collecting data so useful.

    So many things are unknown.

  • raminscc

    This is pretty pointless for me. Miui all day! Root and disable! Or just don’t care because chances are you have nothing to worry about

  • baldypal

    The concerns I have are the things CIQ will never admit too and thats if they use it in a immoral way. Only way we’ll know that for sure is if those lawyers find someone who was on the inside then fired and has proof in a shoebox hidden in their closet. Just like A Pelican Brief.

    • phaet2112

      They are using the carriers as a shield that “we just supply software and the carriers harvest the info as they deem fit,” so it can be as ugly or completely benign as possible. What also is bad is some phones have it, others don’t on the same carrier- if it is truly about stats, they should have it installed on every phone they offer- not just some. Tmo has it on some phones, but not on the G2x. So yay for pseudo vanilla.

  • Leo Young

    A complex issue. Having a way to see how the phones are behaving on the network has obvious value to both carriers and consumers but including the contents of text messages etc? That is going too far.
    I wonder if someone put them up to this (FBI? Homeland Security?) or are they just completely, suicidally, naive?
    It seems that a good solution would be to have software like this installed on all phones with permissions defaulting to what is helpful for network maintanance and everything else, set to opt in.
    I will not opt in for sending my text messages. I realize that if the government wants to see my texts, they can. But, with Carrier IQ sending them over the network (again), any hacker could get them too.
    One thing I want to know is, who is paying for the data to send this information? If it is the consumer, then I can see the basis of a class action suite – the involuntary usage of data for the carriers benefit and not the consumer.

  • jathak

    This is absolutely horrible. I can’t believe that this much data that should be private is available to carriers. I hope that Verizon is telling the truth in that they don’t use Carrier IQ.

  • Ryan Cowley

    Carrier IQ should be optional to the user, I personally wouldn’t want it because i consider it bloat ware.
    But it’s not all bad so if you would like to help out the company then why not leave it be.

  • vandorhangya

    Nice watch. I would think it is a thing amongst spies

  • minimage

    For those who think Carrier IQ might not be receiving this data, you might want to make sure you read this: The example of how a provider can look into the information and see if someone is misspelling “Facebook” just really strikes me as way too big-brothery and vastly intrusive. My provider needs to fix reception, and let me fix my spelling. There are better ways to troubleshoot operating issues, and if they don’t know them, then they’d better get to work learning/creating them. You don’t need to know my bust size to sell me a good-looking hat.

  • drwevil

    Where is the hacker group Anonymous to weed out what exactly what is being done with all the data?
    Have they released a statement regarding Ciq yet?

  • ToonPanda

    I suppose they’re right… I have a rooted HTC Desire running Cyanogenmod, so I shouldn’t worry based on what I read online. Still, it’s not nice that they simply do it without asking permission.

    On the other hand, I don’t want to know what google already knows about me. (Gmail, Google+, Youtube,…) Seriously, I don’t ;-)

  • Numbertwo

    This will phase out in a couple of months and nothing will happen the carriers will win again, they’ll find a way to justify their actions. Its sad but its reality money talks!

  • devoncatt

    My biggest concern is how a hacker could get the information and what they would do with it. I realize government agencies track certain individuals they are worried about but this is a level of phone tapping that would normally require a court order.

    I have no large objections of them noting I spend x amount of time surfing the web, getting and sending emails and something else that might use bandwidth. This is what I pay my monthly tariff to the provider.

    But I object to actual recording of what I am doing as long as it is legal use of my phone/tablet.Key logging is a violation of privacy and I thought it was outlawed in most jurisdictions.

    • aykutb

      All data is processed and stored,for any possible use. We’re screwed :P

  • aykutb this pretty much explains a lot of things.

  • smisa27

    I’ve been following this for a while, and one thing I can say is, I’m glad I rooted my phone to CM7. I have no worries about Carrier IQ. I understand why they’re doing this and how they feel it would benefit users, but at the same time, they should’ve at least let us know or give us the option to opt-out.

  • Craig Mogi

    Really glad I’m running CM7 on my phone right about now. Regardless of what information they are collecting or sharing, they are going about it all wrong. There should be full disclosure and an option to opt-out. I can understand that carriers need data to improve their services, but again, it should be a transparent process and should be one that people have a choice with.

  • eliander mendoza

    this post is bs… i am selling my ipod because of these stupid thing apple came up with. I WILL NEVER “EVER” BUY AN APPLE PRODUCT IN MY ENTIRE LIFE EVER AGAIN. ill rather not talk over a phone i rather die than use their crap “EVER” again.