updated 03:50 pm EST, Thu December 1, 2011
Carrier IQ may have more formal stance soon
Carrier IQ offered a brief promise Thursday that it should have a more formal answer to the rapidly escalating device tracking scandal. Marketing VP Andrew Coward told The Verge the company would "like to be as open as we can" on what information the company was tracking. Until then, the company would "stand exactly by" its earlier denials of scope, he said.
AT&T and Sprint, meanwhile, confirmed they used the software but also partly defended their use. The former's media relations director Mark Siegel argued to ComputerWorld that use of Carrier IQ was in line with its privacy policies but wouldn't say more. Sprint in a separate statement was more cautious and said it used the information only for network performance. It couldn't look at the messages or media on a device even if it was sent, the company said.
Hardware makers, meanwhile, were limiting the scope. Although references to Carrier IQ exist in iOS 5, Apple in a response said it had stopped using the service in iOS 5 and had used it much less. Unlike the Android version, Apple's Carrier IQ system required an opt-in for its diagnostics to collect information, and personal information was left out.
"We never recorded keystrokes, messages or any other personal information for diagnostic data and have no plans to ever do so," Apple said.
A future update would remove the content completely, it added.
HTC in its own statement put the blame on carriers. "A number of US carriers" demanded it, the carrier said with an allusion to at least Sprint. The Taiwan smartphone builder said that it wasn't a direct partner of Carrier IQ and didn't get data. Investigations were underway to possibly let users opt out entirely.