December 16, 2011 | by Natesh Sood
One of the bigger tech stories in recent weeks — besides the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Verizon — has been the Carrier IQ debacle. Carrier IQ is a software that has full access to data on your phone but is used only by carriers to log issues with their respective network. Essentially, carriers are using Carrier IQ to help troubleshoot problems with their network and improve service in the future. However, Carrier IQ was discovered in a way that raised significant concerns on how the software was being used since carriers were not informing smartphone owners such a software existed on their phone.
In any event, several carriers including Sprint and AT&T were under fire for using the software without allegedly informing customers. Moreover, specific OEMs such as Apple and HTC were accused of installing Carrier IQ without also informing the public. According to a rumor by Geek.com, Sprint is actively requiring OEMs to remove Carrier IQ on “high-volume and high-profile devices.” Sprint hopes their partner OEMs will be able to push out an OTA software update in the near future that rids the device of Carrier IQ. Unfortunately, Sprint has not confirmed these claims, but the carrier did report to MobileBurn that it “disabled use of the tool so that diagnostic information and data is no longer being collected.”
With this in mind, we’re still not positive if Sprint plans to never implement Carrier IQ on any of its devices in the future and whether or not Sprint is actually requiring its OEM partners to remove the network diagnostics software on their current devices. I’m sure we will have more information direct from Sprint soon enough as Carrier IQ is taken to court within the month.