Carrier iQ Explains Its Diagnostic Software

Carrier iQ, the company behind the controversial diagnostic software iQ Agent installed on millions of smartphones, released a downloadable PDF document today that seeks to explain what the software “does and does not do.”

Among the explanations provided in the 19-page report:

* The software uploads diagnostic data once a day when the device isn’t being used. Uploads average about 200 kb.

* iQ Agent does not “decode or process any SMS messages.” However, due to a software bug, when a user receives a text message during a call or a “simultaneous data session,” those text messages may have been “unintentionally” included in the data that the software collects.

* Even so, the bug does not cause the software to automatically capture MMS, email, voice, video, photos, web, applications, or any content using the IP protocol. And the SMS messages captured are not in a format that humans could read.

* Phone numbers that you dial, or from calls you receive, can be recorded if the carrier that issued the mobile handset wishes. According to Carrier iQ, the numbers are captured in order to help carriers diagnose their networks with an eye toward preventing dropped calls and other issues.

* URLs are captured if the carrier requests that functionality, but not web page content or usernames and passwords.

* The Carrier iQ software “cannot typically be deleted by an end user.”

Will this document be enough to quell Carrier iQ concerns? Stay tuned.


privacy, smartphone, carrier iQ

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