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Sprint Orders All OEMs To Strip Carrier IQ From Their Phones

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the don't-want-the-bad-pr dept.

Privacy 156

An anonymous reader writes with a report that Sprint, in an attempt to extricate itself from the Carrier IQ drama, has "ordered that all of their hardware partners remove the Carrier IQ software from Sprint devices as soon as possible." Sprint confirmed that they've disabled the use of Carrier IQ on their end, saying, "diagnostic information and data is no longer being collected." The software is currently installed on roughly 26 million Sprint phones, though the company has only been collecting data from 1.3 million of them.

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Sounds cool (5, Insightful)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38402870)

I am currently on the fence trying to decide between Sprint and Verizon. I think Sprint just tipped me to their side with this.

Re:Sounds cool (4, Informative)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38402934)

Uh, unless something's changed, Verizon never had CarrierIQ to begin with. If you're concerned about it, I think "never did it" trumps "stopped doing it when they got caught".

Re:Sounds cool (3, Insightful)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403102)

Oh yeah, I'm totally sure Verizon made sure OEMs kept CarrierIQ off all their phones and, where that wasn't possible, deleted all such information as it arrived, since they would never use data that could be sold at a tremendous profit or alert them to network problems.

*jerk-off gesture*

Re:Sounds cool (3, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403184)

And your evidence that they ever used it is where? Oh right, you don't have any.

Re:Sounds cool (2, Insightful)

froggymana (1896008) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403230)

And your evidence that they ever used it is where? Oh right, you don't have any.

And even if they didn't use CarrierIQ, what's to say that they don't have a homegrown version of software that does the exact same thing?

Re:Sounds cool (4, Funny)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403254)

"what's to say that they don't have a homegrown version of software that does the exact same thing"

Based on their website, if they did I would feel secure that it didn't work properly.

Re:Sounds cool (2)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403324)

Based on their website, if they did I would feel secure that it didn't work properly.

In my experience... everything Verizon offered worked well -at 2x the price of what I have now (MetroPCS -which works most of the time, but occasionally fails in frustrating ways.)

Quality is not their failing -price is.

Re:Sounds cool (2)

inject_hotmail.com (843637) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403848)

Based on their website, if they did I would feel secure that it didn't work properly.

In my experience... everything Verizon offered worked well -at 2x the price of what I have now (MetroPCS -which works most of the time, but occasionally fails in frustrating ways.)

Quality is not their failing -price is.

I think your hyphen key is stuck...either that, or you have some sort of weird variation of turrets...you might want to check that out...

Re:Sounds cool (0, Flamebait)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404338)

fuck off grammar nazi

Re:Sounds cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38404536)

You meant Tourette's you moron. And I have Tourette's.

Re:Sounds cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38404632)

Thanks a lot for the coffee coming out of my nose.

Re:Sounds cool (3, Insightful)

fdrebin (846000) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404036)

"what's to say that they don't have a homegrown version of software that does the exact same thing" Based on their website, if they did I would feel secure that it didn't work properly.

Based on having worked for Verizon in software development, I can assure you that it's a miracle when almost anything works properly.
The really sleazy types were the marketing and management types. The stories I could tell... I feel unclean just thinking about it.

Re:Sounds cool (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404236)

Then tell! I'm interested.

Re:Sounds cool (3, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403264)

Maybe the fact that if they did have such software, people would have found it?

Seriously, it isn't like people just "discovered" CarrierIQ hiding a few weeks ago - the only thing new is that it made it to the right news outlets and the news went viral.

Developers on XDA have been aware of CIQ (and removing it when found in custom ROMs) for months. If Verizon had anything even remotely similar, people would have found it by now.

Re:Sounds cool (2)

scubamage (727538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403416)

Are you serious? Have you ever heard of SNMP? I can communicate with an out of band hardware agent built into a server which will tell me literally every single thing about that box - often more than the box itself could tell me from inside the OS. Why would you believe that phones wouldn't have any similar capability? I know cable set top boxes have it, as do most modems. How else do you think they can "push down an update" to you? Its SNMP.

Re:Sounds cool (0)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403478)

Um, SNMP is not implemented in hardware, it's software.

You clearly don't know jack shit about Android if you think SNMP is how software updates are pushed to Android handsets.

Re:Sounds cool (4, Insightful)

scubamage (727538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403922)

A separate out-of-band piece of hardware running snmp is common place in carrier's, and in high end systems. How else do you think cable carriers control set top boxes? Its defined by packetcable and docsis specs. How else do you think iLOM, aLOM, iLO, and DRAC can provide SNMP statistics for the boxes they're embedded in? Read more before you call someone an idiot. SNMP is frequently used out of band, specifically when you don't want an end user to be screwing with things. Try working in a fortune 500 carrier and you'll learn a bit more about it.

Re:Sounds cool (0)

krinderlin (1212738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403596)

Would you look at that. I made my first foe today! *hands you "Foe'ed because you are an idiot" award*

Re:Sounds cool (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403946)

No, not a foe, just someone who has experience working with embedded out of band SNMP modules that reside outside of the OS. As for calling me an idiot, do some research, noob.

Re:Sounds cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38404326)

You're right, the XDA guys have known about it for a long time, and what's more, many of them aren't even concerned about it having disassembled it and seen what it actually does.

The guy who has been ramping up what CIQ supposedly does also happens to sell you tools to detect and disable it. I wonder what interest he would have it completely up-playing the whole ordeal, hmm?

Re:Sounds cool (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403278)

And even if they didn't use CarrierIQ, what's to say that they don't have a homegrown version of software that does the exact same thing?

If Verizon tried to home brew software as complex as CarrierIQ, their phones wouldn't even boot up.

Not a chance.

Re:Sounds cool (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38404410)

That probably explains why the last two LG phones we've had from Verizon had a habit of just shutting off mid-call for no reason.

Re:Sounds cool (3, Insightful)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403444)

Sorry, just going by CarrierIQ's own self-pimping about how many phones have their rootkits. Simple pigeonhole principle says that if they have their crap on umpteen million phones, then even if all of Sprint and AT&Fee's phones have it, some of Verizon's must as well.

Re:Sounds cool (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403188)

Oh yeah, I'm totally sure Verizon made sure OEMs kept CarrierIQ off all their phones and, where that wasn't possible, deleted all such information as it arrived, since they would never use data that could be sold at a tremendous profit or alert them to network problems.

*jerk-off gesture*

Uh... you're aware that CarrierIQ was a software package SOLD TO THE CARRIER, NOT THE HANDSET MANUFACTURER, right?

So. Since Verizon never paid CarrierIQ for their data collections software, never ran their data collection servers... obviously they're just going to pirate the client software on their phones for shits and giggles, right?

meanwhile in an alternate universe (2)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403448)

on shareholderdot.com, investors are furious that sprint has foregone such a significiant exploitation of revenue stream. after all, why else does sprint exist, if not to provide them with profit?

Re:Sounds cool (4, Insightful)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403148)

Well, that depends. On why Verizon never had CarrierIQ.

If it's because "we looked at it, and thought it a gross violation of our customers' privacy" then, yes, "never did it" trumps.

However, if it's because Verizon has not yet managed to get the required hardware to support the volume of data that CarrierIQ produces, combined with the analytics systems required to make bottom-line-driven decisions with that information, then, no, "never did it (yet)" does not trump. In fact, it loses, big time. Sprint, having gone down that road, sunk a bunch of money on it, and abandoned it, is the clear winner as they're unlikely to do it a second time. Verizon may still be looking at implementing it/rolling it out.

I'm not saying that's the case. I'm saying it's a possible scenario that fits with the known facts (very few in this thread) where "never did it" does not trump "stopped doing it". I don't have any idea how likely either scenario is.

Re:Sounds cool (2)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403244)

I have a pretty good idea why Verizon never used CarrierIQ. I'll bet you do, to, if you've watched any TV in the past several years. Or listened to radio. Or seen any billboards. Or really ever existed anywhere that Verizon advertises:

"Can you hear me now?"

Remember that?

Verizon actively tests their network by driving around with special vans. They're so super-secret about it, though, that it served the basis of a national ad campaign with an obnoxious catch phrase.

Somewhat ironically, the first comment on the last Slashdot story on them [slashdot.org] was asking why they didn't just use something like CarrierIQ.

Turns out, there are some very good reasons why they might opt not to, and they have nothing to do with respecting privacy.

Re:Sounds cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403296)

Other carries do the same thing. My brother used to do it for AT&T.

Re:Sounds cool (4, Interesting)

liquidhokie (2044274) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403586)

When this whole CarrierIQ thing got started, I thought this was simply a diagnostic tool, yet conspiracy theorists were going to jump all over the "...but they could" aspects of the system. I also thought it was a shame, since the carriers and manufacturers ought to be able to monitor the system so they can improve it.

Your post has made me re-think all of my notions. I don't believe any nefarious purpose was afoot-- this was a tool intended to diagnose infrastructure and device performance. However, installing it as a rootkit is a bad call. It provides a vehicle for malware, and a description of its operation-- however technically accurate it migh be-- touches too many evil buzzwords. Such a tool, while useful, is eventually too easy to turn into a PR nightmare (obviously). Then throw the malware hijacking aspect in for good measure.

Verizon does it right, at least as we see it now. Those vans do a great job of real-world testing, where their test equipment is gathering the same metrics as CarrierIQ's software, but with test data nobody will whine about.

But...

...couldn't those vans also spy on every packet going through the cell they were testing? I'm not suggesting they are, or if that would be on any use. But they certainly have the necessary equipment in those special vans. Paint the vans black... and... wow, I don't want to think about it.

Re:Sounds cool (2)

neonKow (1239288) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403870)

They control the towers. What on earth do vans do that the towers don't? And wouldn't they be testing PHONES inside the vans? Not setting up temporary towers? I don't know the details, but that just seems more likely.

Re:Sounds cool (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404502)

Just to be clear, the only long distance provider that didn't immediately roll over for the feds wanting wiretaps was Qwest. It wasn't Verizon. You think they don't tap your phone on demand, just like everyone else?

Re:Sounds cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38404756)

I hear tale there's a veritable Garden of Verizon servers at a certain Lawful Interception company based out of Milpitas, CA just so they can more effectively test and debug their software, so you'd be more correct than you'd think.

Re:Sounds cool (1)

flash2011 (2486260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403314)

Whilst we know Verizon don't install Carrier IQ it is not possible for them to collect this information without installing another brand of spyware:

Verizon Wireless Now Collecting Your Web, Location, App Data [pcmag.com]

And remember your "opt-out" only opts you out of them the data for specific purposes defined in the opt-out. It doesn't stop them using the data for other purposes.

Re:Sounds cool (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403388)

Maybe they didn't use it, but they refused comment when confronted:

In fact, after a more thorough review, the only incorrect information published by Trevor Eckhart was information he published about Verizon Wireless. A spokesperson from Verizon clarified that the privacy policy information they published on their website was not in any way related to CarrierIQ. In fact, Verizon claims to not have any dealings at all with CarrierIQ on any of their handsets. Of course, the Verizon spokesperson failed to comment when Mr. Eckhart responded by pointing out that his research discovered three IP addresses in the CarrierIQ network that were pointed to by domains like vzw-collector.demo.carrieriq.com and hupload-vzw99.carrieriq.com.

http://www.geek.com/articles/mobile/carrieriq-plot-thickens-20111123/ [geek.com]

Re:Sounds cool (2)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403556)

Note the word "demo" in two of the three domainnames there.

CIQ almost surely tried to sell CarrierIQ to Verizon, and those hosts were likely part of their demo to Verizon.

Whatever the reason for those hosts existing, not a single deployed Android handset on Verizon had the ability to send data to any of those hosts.

I wouldn't trust VZW (3, Interesting)

DragonHawk (21256) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403506)

Uh, unless something's changed, Verizon never had CarrierIQ to begin with.

Unless something's changed, VZW has denied using CarrierIQ, but has refused to explain why CarrierIQ was found to be connecting to servers with "vzw" in their names.

As a VZW customer, I'd be shocked if VZW wasn't doing something nefarious when it comes to customer monitoring. I'd also fully expect them to then lie about it.

Note well: This doesn't mean I'd trust Sprint (or AT&T or T-Mobile or whoever) over VZW. I wouldn't trust any of them.

Re:Sounds cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403520)

Uh, unless something's changed, Verizon never had CarrierIQ to begin with. If you're concerned about it, I think "never did it" trumps "stopped doing it when they got caught".

My brother works at Sony-Ericsson. The project he was working on last was replacing the Android location services stack with a custom one from Verizon to basically funnel all of that data through Verizon.

Instead of an app like CIQ to gather the info, they'll just tie it directly into the phone's OS. Much harder to find then.

Sprint (1)

tizan (925212) | more than 2 years ago | (#38402938)

Just for their customers service ..

but i suspect verizon for the network and if you are ok with poor human service when you have a problem.

Re:Sprint (1)

pro151 (2021702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403040)

Verizons network is second to none in my book and I have always experienced stellar performance when dealing with customer service.

Re:Sprint (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403152)

You get what you pay for.

Sprint - 2847GB/mo (limited by 4G connection speed/availability)
Verizon - 5GB/mo + overage charges

I'll take service over "customer care" any day.

Re:Sounds cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38402968)

I am currently on the fence trying to decide between Sprint and Verizon. I think Sprint just tipped me to their side with this.

So... Sprint disabling CarrierIQ... versus Verizon never having CarrierIQ in the first place...

That tips it to Sprint for you, eh?

Sorry, that makes no sense. At all.

Re:Sounds cool (2)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403032)

They also offer truly unlimited data, versus all the other carriers and their bandwidth capping practices.

Re:Sounds cool (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403060)

Unless you want to send that data to your laptop. Then it suddenly isn't unlimited. First "unlimited" becomes meaningless and now so has "truly unlimited"!

Re:Sounds cool (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403404)

Unlimited data from your handset.

I don't think tethering costing a few extra dollars is unreasonable when you consider that if it didn't, people would choke their network with all their pirate bay and netflix traffic

Re:Sounds cool (2)

XanC (644172) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403470)

Tethered data IS data from the handset.

I'm not saying it isn't unreasonable to charge; I'm saying it's unreasonable to call it unlimited.

Re:Sounds cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38404234)

It's not "a few extra dollars." It's more like $40 a month...

Re:Sounds cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403142)

That's funny since CIQ was first discovered and removed on a Sprint phone (Epic 4G).

Re:Sounds cool (1)

Dan East (318230) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403178)

I am currently on the fence trying to decide between Sprint and Verizon. I think Sprint just tipped me to their side with this.

Somewhere deep in the bowels of Sprint, a marketing exec is getting a nice Christmas bonus.

Re:Sounds cool (1)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403424)

I am currently on the fence trying to decide between Sprint and Verizon. I think Sprint just tipped me to their side with this.

Somewhere deep in the bowels of Sprint, a marketing exec is getting a nice Christmas bonus.

Why am I suddenly recalling the end of "Little Nicky" -the scene with the pineapple and Hitler... Oh, wait, you said a nice Christmas bonus, not a well deserved Christmas bonus.

Re:Sounds cool (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403342)

Sprint is cheaper too, much lower overage penalties, uses the exact same wireless network (piggybacks on Verizon's network), doesn't disable features on your phone then charge you to reenable them, and has cool phones earlier than Verizon. I've had Sprint for many years now.

Re:Sounds cool (2)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404146)

I have been a Sprint customer for 13 years now.
Never had a problem with coverage. YMMV.
Never had a bad customer service issue with them.
But until very recently. (Last 2 or 3 years)
They had shit phones. They worked but Verizon and ATT had all the newest shit.
My friends on Verizon and T-Mobile were getting decent Android handsets before me.

Re:Sounds cool (3, Interesting)

scubamage (727538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403372)

I've been a long time Sprint customer. About 10 years ago, the experience was pretty miserable - they screwed up my account numerous times. But I stuck through it. Now, I honestly wouldn't go elsewhere. They still offer true unlimited data, they're getting better handsets, and their support has gotten much, much better. Sadly they cancelled their premier rewards program this past year, but I honestly never used any of the benefits. They're, on the whole, the most pleasant of the carriers I've had to deal with.

Re:Sounds cool (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404382)

Make sure their 4G coverage goes inside your home. For me Sprint doesn't, but Verizon does. The extra bandwidth is always handy.

except nokias which use nokia analytics.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38402898)

nokia uses nokia analytics collector to collect carrier iq data which is sent to nokia (not the phone company). i presume sprint will still continue to collect carrier iq data from nokias which run NAC or have the libraries loaded like all of nokias windows 7 phones....

And (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 2 years ago | (#38402924)

Does this also apply to their Virgin phones?

-uso.

Re:And (1)

msk (6205) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403072)

My Virgin Mobile phone's stock firmware has some hint of CarrierIQ software, but the checker tools on the Android Market say it's not running.

$ strings -f *|grep -i carrieriq|more
data.img: <item name="com.carrieriq.iqagent.client.SET_PROFILE" package="android" protection="3" />
data.img: <item name="com.carrieriq.iqagent.client.SUBMIT_METRIC" package="android" />
data.img: <item name="com.carrieriq.iqagent.client.STARTSTOP" package="android" protection="3" />
data.img: <item name="com.carrieriq.iqagent.client.CHECK_SMS" package="android" protection="3" />
data.img: <item name="com.carrieriq.iqagent.client.SHMEM" package="android" protection="2" />
system.img: com.carrieriq.iqagent.service
system.img: com.carrieriq.iqagent.service
system.img: com.carrieriq.iqagent.client
system.img: &com.carrieriq.iqagent.client.CHECK_SMS
system.img: (com.carrieriq.iqagent.client.SET_PROFILE
system.img: "com.carrieriq.iqagent.client.SHMEM
system.img: &com.carrieriq.iqagent.client.STARTSTOP
system.img: *com.carrieriq.iqagent.client.SUBMIT_METRIC
system.img: com.carrieriq.iqagent.service

Sacrificial Lamb? (2)

A10Mechanic (1056868) | more than 2 years ago | (#38402942)

Wonder if they're giving up Carrier IQ as a sacrificial lamb, while their other gathering program(s) lie safely tucked away. Old Gestapo trick. Shoot one of your own...

Re:Sacrificial Lamb? (1)

RoknrolZombie (2504888) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403042)

CarrierIQ is probably already doing business under another name. If they aren't, they will....we haven't seen the last of this...

Re:Sacrificial Lamb? (1)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403308)

I hear they are working with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altria [wikipedia.org] about changing their public image.............

Re:Sacrificial Lamb? (2)

Quanticfx (2443904) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403066)

That would be interesting, but imagine the storm of criticism that would come about if the other program(s) is/are discovered. I think it would end up making them look even worse, unless the average person has forgotten about all this by then.

Exactly my first thought (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403128)

That was my first thought when I read the headline: what have the replaced it with?

They're apparently doing this in order to avoid being dragged in front on Congress and not out of any sort of altruism. (OK, so no one thought they were doing it out of altruism, but you may have thought they were trying to avoid alienating customers. Nope. They just want Congress to drop the issue.)

The article itself makes it pretty clear that they expect that Sprint is simply going to switch to some other software. It's kind of like how the iPhone "doesn't run CarrierIQ as of iOS 5." Well, of course it doesn't - Apple moved all of that stuff into iOS 5 itself. It's built-in to the OS now. All that CarrierIQ information is still gathered, and still sent back to Apple.

But that's OK. Remember when people were upset about the iPhone tracking you? That's a "feature" in iOS 5. Essentially, by allowing you to "track" yourself and your friends, Apple managed to turn "we constantly track and record your location" into a bullet point feature. (Not joking! [apple.com] Yes, you have to "opt in" to be allowed to see the data that Apple gathers about you. That's nice. They still gather it if you have the features turned off, you just aren't allowed to use that data yourself.)

So I fully expect that a couple of weeks after the "remove CarrierIQ update" is released, security researchers will discover Sprint phones now come with some new software with a different name that does the exact same thing.

Re:Exactly my first thought (2)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403888)

I don't expect it... If Carrier IQ is replaced with anything on Sprint and AT&T handsets, it will be with something more visible to the user and less invasive, not less visible, with the ability for the user to turn it off.

One of the primary reasons CIQ had such negative publicity was the fact that it was hidden from users and EXTREMELY difficult to turn off.

Trying to replace CIQ with something else when the media and public are now aware of such things would be idiotic on an epic scale

Firmware modders in XDA have been aware of CIQ and removing it whenever it was found for months - the only new development in the past few weeks is that the media finally picked up on it and enduser awareness of it increased because the media picked up on it.

Re:Sacrificial Lamb? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403834)

tucked away where? on radio modem fw level?

they're not a sacrificial lamb. they're a company that got some quick cash - selling diagnostics the carriers already had and giving them the option to get something they shouldn't have - and now the party is over.

I want it OFF (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38402962)

So how do I get this off of my Epic 4g S? Would also love it if they'd kill the Nascar, Football and Media Hub bloatware. This app might explain why my phone cannot keep up with me typing on my QWERTY keyboard. misses 1/2 of the letters I type cuz it's too busy recording every keystroke.

Really ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38402990)

WOW. Am I dreaming ? There must be some sort of satanic motive behind this, surely they can't be doing this out of the goodness of their hearts.

1.3M? Why Not All? (2)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403012)

Does this mean that 1.3million Sprint users are on some DHS watchlist?

Why wouldn't they collect "diagnostics" on all 26 million? If I were a data analyst looking for useful data to "improve user experience" (or whatever it is they say they use it for) then I want the largest data set possible.

Re:1.3M? Why Not All? (2)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403192)

The cost of both hardware and DB licenses for a system that can handle 500 Ktps (transactions per second) at peak vs 5-10 Mtps may be significant. If I'm looking for useful data to actually improve user experience, I don't need all of them, a sample is good enough, and if I keep the volume down, I can do it on much smaller hardware and thus much smaller cost for licensing to Oracle, DB2, whatever.

Re:1.3M? Why Not All? (1)

fran6gagne (1467469) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403248)

Should be the optimal number for x in this equation:

Profit = revenue from data collected - x phones * quantities of data * cost of maintenance of those data

Re:1.3M? Why Not All? (1)

callmebill (1917294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403542)

If they are still collecting on 1.3 of the 26, then maybe it's a sample group of phones, for collecting service quality stats. 1.3MM/26MM happens to be exactly 5%. That's a nice round number.

Re:1.3M? Why Not All? (2)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403988)

Not doing them all and using only a 'small' sample, leads more creditability to the explanation of them capturing the data to improve the system.

Carrier IQ (4, Interesting)

Dan East (318230) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403048)

I'd hate to work for and / or have a stake in Carrier IQ. Talk about going down in a massive ball of flames overnight! Simply put, that company, at least by name, will have to cease to exist. No one would dare want that name associated with their devices.

Re:Carrier IQ (3, Insightful)

CSFFlame (761318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403110)

And if they'd actually behaved when they made the release version they would have been fine (no GPS, keylogging, website logging, or SMS reading and they would have been fine.

Re:Carrier IQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403300)

CIQ does not log keystrokes or the contents of SMS messages. It records that you hit a key, not what key you hit, or that you received or sent a SMS, not the content or who or from it was to. Far as SMS goes, the telco stores a crapload more data than CIQ ever did.

Re:Carrier IQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403336)

Sources?

Re:Carrier IQ (2)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403258)

"Ceasing to exist" translates to: they'll axe the dev teams, sell the codebase and senior management intact to another player in the business you probably haven't heard of.

Re:Carrier IQ (1)

Dracos (107777) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404264)

Simply put, that company, at least by name, will have to cease to exist.

Unfortunately for them the name Xe is already taken.

Re:Carrier IQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38404304)

I used to work there. Happy I no longer do. That's all I'm saying.

Price Change Coming? (3, Insightful)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403088)

I wonder if this will result in a price hike since they will be losing all this juicy customer data that they may have been selling to "market research" vultures.

Lucky me! (2)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403100)

It's nice to have a Blackberry through all of this. The WP7 users are probably pretty happy too.

Re:Lucky me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403194)

nokia wp7 phones have NAC - nokia analytics collector libraries which do the same thing carrier IQ does.

Hands in the Cookie jar? (4, Insightful)

bobbied (2522392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403134)

I think they just got caught with their hand in the cookie jar and wisely decided to let go of the cookie. I'm guessing that their corporate lawyer types who are dealing with the lawsuits recommended this happen ASAP and management is following their lawyers'' advice. The question now is will all the crumbs laying around lead to them being punished or just sent to bed without dinner.

Re:Hands in the Cookie jar? (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403422)

I'm not following. Can you use a car analogy?

Carrier IQ is about to 'Cease and Desist'. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403172)

Carrier IQ is about to 'Cease and Desist'. ...or should that be 'Cease to Exist'?

Great! But... (2)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403210)

What about those of us who already have it on our existing phones? Any way to remove it, Sprint?

Re:Great! But... (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403294)

Sprint (or at least their OEMs) are working on updates that remove it, such as the EL13 leak for the Epic 4G Touch.

now, to get that root off the existing phones (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403250)

there are some phones shipped to Verizon that also have cIQ on them. if Verizon is not using it, they should also do an "update" strip of that root.

Does this include all Virgin Mobile phones as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403276)

Since Virgin Mobile, at least in the U.S, uses Sprint's network. Though I'm not sure if Carrier IQ was on their phones.

Looks like AT&T too (3, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403344)

While Sprint has been the largest user of CarrierIQ, with the most invasive CIQ installations in devices, AT&T was starting to put it on their phones too. For example, the Samsung Infuse 4G Gingerbread leaks from September to November carried a CIQ installation that was quite invasive. All evidence of CIQ is gone from the latest UCKL2 leak.

Similarly, while the original UCKH7 build for the Galaxy S II did not have CIQ, all leaks from October and November had it start to appear - but it was removed before the official UCKK6 update that just started getting rolled out to users earlier this week.

Carrier IQ (the company) = smoking crater. Their largest user is dropping them like a hot potato, and their fastest growth market (AT&T devices) is also ditching them.

Canadians are still screwed - Rogers seems silent in terms of CIQ. They actually had the balls to claim they don't use it, even though it was clearly there in the UXKG3 firmware release for the Samsung Infuse in that country.

Re:Looks like AT&T too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38403440)

Perhaps they can get a foothold in China - CiQ could be required for all Chinese smartphones - add 300MM users

Android OS Upgrade (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403400)

I wonder if any phones will get more recent versions of Android because of this. Some phones may get moved from Ecliar to Froyo or Froyo to Gingerbread.

Now if they would only strip the other bloatware (1)

Shadowhawk (30195) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403666)

Like Sprint Nascar, Sprint Football, Sprint Zone, Amazon MP3, Blockbuster (they still exist?), NOVA, Telenav GPS (which appears to be cheap knockoff of Google Maps nav mode) and Qik Video.

While I'm glad the Carrier IQ stuff is going away, I'm still planning on rooting my phone when I have the time (like over the holidays; whee!).

Re:Now if they would only strip the other bloatwar (1)

bobthecow (67269) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403800)

Oh, but when I sent an email to the CEO to complain, I got a nice call back from a lady who said all that crap is on there because customers want it to be. So, I asked her whether she'd ever read the reviews on the Android Market for the bloatware apps, and that she might notice the reason they're rated low is because people want to be able to uninstall them.

Everybody else who cares should email the CEO as well, and maybe we can get this changed.

Re:Now if they would only strip the other bloatwar (2)

witherstaff (713820) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404386)

I doubt the few people who complain don't nearly equate to how much nascar, amazaon, and others are paying Sprint for this.

Bandwidth (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403816)

Just how much bandwidth does CarrierIQ use? Does network congestion in part stem from this software? And finally does the end user pay for that bandwidth or have it deducted from their capped allocation.

It's installed on 26 million phones but they only gather information from 1.3 million users, so how did they decide on that 1.3 million, or does it rotate the users and the number of actively monitored phones cap at 1.3 million because their network can't handle any more than that?

I think this story might get a whole lot more interesting shortly.

Re:Bandwidth (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404494)

end users paid the transfers.

apparently it didn't even check how it was connected to the internet, imagine leaking that stuff over starbucks wifi.(not "shit easy" to do to check how you're connected.. but easy to do anyways, even without root).

They will rebrand to something like NetworkOptimiz (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404416)

I guess that carrier IQ will just rebrand to something positive sounding like NetworkOptimiza

Re:They will rebrand to something like NetworkOpti (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404468)

and sell to china and middle-east and belarus(it's like russia - only more tightly gripped and without the mellow countryside).

oh wait they already probably did..

do you pay extra for tether on sprint? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38404508)

I'm wondering, because detecting unauthorized tethering seemed to me the most "useful" use for a carrier to use cIQ for. I know at&t does that, but does sprint?

Who has been paying the data charges? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38404760)

If your phone was sending diagnostic data upstream without your permission (or knowledge), who was paying for the data usage? For those with an unlimited data plan, it's a non-issue. Everyone else should be asking their carrier questions before it's too late to get a refund. I would think that you are entitled to a refund of any and all overage charges.

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