Sprint says it has stopped pulling Carrier IQ data from phones
Two weeks after the Carrier IQ dust storm, in which an unknown California company was found to have data collections software embedded on tens of millions of smartphones, one of the company's main allies is taking a step back.
Sprint Nextel Corp. is now saying that it has "disabled use of" the Carrier IQ software. Importantly, that doesn't mean they have turned off or deleted the data collection software from your phone. Instead, the company is using the term "disabled" to mean that it is no longer accessing data from the Carrier IQ program, even though that program is still operational on your mobile device.
"We have weighed customer concerns and we have disabled use of the tool so that diagnostic information and data is no longer being collected," wrote Sprint spokeswoman Stephanie Vinge in an email. "We are further evaluating options regarding this diagnostic software as well as Sprint’s diagnostic needs."
In late November, when the furor originally broke out, Sprint came to Carrier IQ's aid, noting that "Carrier IQ is an integral part of the Sprint service" and that "Sprint relies on Carrier IQ to help maintain our dependable network performance.”
But now, in the wake of congressional inquiries and a nasty public relations storm, it seems the company has reconsidered the value of Carrier IQ.
Image: A Sprint storefront in New York City. Sprint says it has disabled use of Carrier IQ software. Credit: Stephen Yang/Bloomberg