AT&T, Sprint, Samsung, and HTC Explain Carrier IQ Implementations

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Friday, 16 December 2011

AT&T, Sprint, Samsung, and HTC Explain Carrier IQ Implementations

Earlier this month Carrier IQ was brought to light from concerns that their software may be violating a number of federal privacy acts. Carrier IQ claims the software is just used to provide carriers with diagnostic information about their devices to help improve the end user experience. As a results of the claims Carrier IQ is now facing a variety of class action lawsuits as well as AT&T, Sprint, Samsung and HTC. All of the companies have released letters that detail the use of Carrier IQ's software on their handsets, and Sprint looks to be the biggest user with Carrier IQ software installed on 26 million devices. Below is some information about each carriers letter:


AT&T indicates Carrier IQ's software is limited strictly to "collecting diagnostic information about its network." The following phones use Carrier IQ's software - Pantech Pursuit II, Pantech Breeze 3, Pantech P5000, Pantech Pocket, Sierra Wireless Shockwave, LG Thrill, ZTE Avail, ZTE Z331, Xperia Play, Motorola Atrix 2, and the Motorola Bravo. Software is also present on the HTC Vivid, LG Nitro, and Samsung Skyrocket, but not activated due to the software agent interfering with the performance on the devices. AT&T indicates they have 575,000 devices currently sending data using Carrier IQ's software out of an install base of 900,000 devices.


Sprint indicates that Carrier IQ software is installed on 26 million devices on their network, however, mentioned at any given time not all the devices are actively sending data. The devices are only designed to send reports when Sprint's network "tasks" the phone to send in information. Of the 26 million devices with Carrier IQ implemented Sprint says, 1.3 million devices may be sending in reports for only network diagnostics, and have been doing since 2006. Sprint wouldn't indicate every device using Carrier IQ software but did mention Audiovox, Franklin, HTC, Huawei, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, Novatel, Palmone, Samsung, Sanyo, and Sierra Wireless as manufacturers who may include Carrier IQ software.


Samsung claims that Carrier IQ software is there for carriers, not Samsung, and they only install per carrier request. Samsung indicated 28 phones on Sprint use Carrier IQ's software, two phones on T-Mobile, four on Cricket and one on AT&T. The following phones are known to have Carrier IQ software installed - Galaxy S II Skyrocket, Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch, Epic 4G, Galaxy Tab 3G for Sprint, Transform Ultra, Conquer 4G, Replenish, Galaxy Prevail on Boost Mobile, Transform, Intercept, Moment, Hue, Messager, Chrono, Freeform III, Z400 (Nextel), M220, Rant, Highnote, M320, Instinct, Instinct S30, Instinct HD,  Exclaim, M240, Reclaim, M330, Intrepid, Seek, M360, Restore, Factor, and Trender. They believe there is approximately 25 million handsets in the US with Carrier IQ's software installed, but are unsure of how many devices are actively sending data and denied receiving any data by Carrier IQ's software.


HTC has been at the epicenter of the whole Carrier IQ debacle with Carrier IQ contending that HTC wrote very poor software showing insecure logs that emerged from Trevor Eckharts Youtube video. HTC admitted to being "aware" of those claims, but wouldn't confirm their veracity indicating HTC "has not received any reports of unauthorized access to system log files and has no reason to believe this has occurred." HTC is actively investigating potential consumer risks and like Samsung denies being the recipient of any Carrier IQ data. The Carrier IQ software is known to be installed and actively collecting data in the following devices - the Snap, Touch Pro 2, Hero, Evo 4G, Evo Shift 4G, Evo 3D, and Evo Design on Sprint. AT&T's Vivid also has the software, as does the Amaze on T-Mobile. HTC also named the Merge, Acquire, Desire, Wildfire, Flyer, and a variant of the Hero, but doesn't currently believe that Carrier IQ's software is active, but is installed. HTC estimates that carrier IQ software is installed and active on 6.3 million devices.

Carrier IQ

There isn't a lot of new information from Carrier IQ who has been very vocal about their software after the initial allegations. They've admitted to accidentally transmitting SMS information and are actively working on resolving the issue. There was no new information disclosed about their software implementation.  


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Last Updated ( Friday, 16 December 2011 )
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