Two weeks ago, smack-dab in the middle of the CarrierIQ saga, Senator Al Franken pounded his fist on the table and demanded answers. He wanted to know what CarrierIQ is all about and why several US mobile providers and manufacturers felt the need to install potentially invasive software on the phones of unsuspecting consumers. Senator Franken sent Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, Samsung, HTC and Motorola a series of thirteen questions each, trying to get to the bottom of what each company is doing with the mysterious software. So far, all but T-Mobile and Motorola have complied with the Senator’s wishes, as the two remaining companies were given until December 20th to have their responses submitted (we’ll update this post as those are made public).
Hier die Statements von…
It is important to understand that when Sprint makes a “profile” request to CIQ for certain data, it’s not seeking nor does it receive a picture of any particular user’s online or mobile behavior over time. To the contrary, a “profile” is a list of analytical data collected from many tasked devices to analyze a certain problem, including conditions or criteria for research of a particular performance issue. For example, a “dropped call profile” could include the signal strength of the cell towers in a particular area for a random volume of calls.
Data collected by the CIQ tool is transmitted in encrypted form to CIQ and uploaded to the CIQ servers. The data received by CIQ in a raw format is anonymized or otherwise made unreadable by humans before CIQ personnel access or use the data…Sprint has not used CIQ diagnostics to profile customer behavior, serve targeted advertising, or for any purpose not specifically related to certifying that a device is able to operate on Sprint’s network or otherwise to improve network operations and customer experiences.
AT&T uses CIQ software only to collect diagnostic information about its network to improve the customer experience. We do not use CIQ to obtain the contents of customers’ communications, to track where our customers go on the internet, or to track customer location.
AT&T must collect operational data that can point to possible network upgrades, including improved call completion rates. We continually evaluate information about network performance.
Pursuant to the carriers’ agreements with STA, some of those cellular carriers required Samsung to pre-install CIQ software on some of the devices prior to the sale of those devices to the carrier. Samsung installs CIQ software only at the instruction of cellular carriers, and does so in the exact manner and in the configuration required by the carrier and CIQ. The carrier is exclusively responsible for selecting the types of information transmitted by the CIQ software to the carrier on the carrier’s network without intervention by Samsung. Samsung does not receive data generated by the CIQ software.
Samsung installs the CIQ software only as specified by the carrier and does not select or determine the configuration of the CIQ software, and it is Samsung’s understanding that there is no information collected by the software that is inconsistent with what is disclosed by the carriers to their customers in their respective TOS and / or Privacy Policies. Samsung devices undergo extensive testing by the carriers to ensure that the devices meet all of the carriers’ specifications and requirements, including CIQ specifications.
HTC does not own the Carrier IQ software. The Carrier IQ software and service are developed and managed by Carrier IQ and used by providers of wireless services such as Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T.
HTC does not use the Carrier IQ software for its own purposes; our involvement with the Carrier IQ software and service is limited to integrating the Carrier IQ software into certain HTC devices. This integration is required by the wireless service providers and performed under contract and per their specifications. The Carrier IQ software collects data specified by the wireless service providers, processes it, and transmits it off the HTC Devices.
As part of the integration of Carrier IQ into HTC devices performed on behalf of Sprint and AT&T, HTC had developed a software component based on their respective specifications. This software component enables the Carrier IQ software to collect additional data specified by Sprint and AT&T from HTC devices and then delivers the specified data to the Carrier IQ software on the device.