May 16, 2012

Will being able to see exactly what info Carrier IQ tracks be enough to address privacy concerns?

Lot's of people, myself among them, were not happy to find out that personally identifiable information was potentially being sent to our wireless carriers without our permissions. Carrier IQ has now said that it will show exactly what info it is tracking in an effort to assuage concerns. Will being able to see what is being sent settle the issue, or is there still going to be pushback against what many see as a blatant intrusion on consumer privacy?


I haven't heard too much about Carrier IQ in a while.  I think that they in some ways fell victim to the upswing in concern over loss of privacy that we are all experiencing as we become increasing valuable as advertising commodities.  They also took the hit, while in my mind the real culprit was the mobile provider and how they collected/used personal information.  For the most part, Carrier IQ seem to be a way to provide mobile carriers with diagnostic tools to monitor and improve call quality/reliability.  The thing that flipped most people out was the claim that Carrier IQ could function as a keylogger, something I have never seen proven and Carrier IQ has always denied.  I want the truth (and I CAN handle the truth), so it there is a way I can see exactly what is being monitored, I will indeed feel much better about it.  At the moment, it is academic for me, since I use Sprint, and they stopped using Carrier IQ when the privacy storm hit last fall.

The best bet is full disclosure of information sent, along with the option to simply turn it off. Give users the power to know what information is being shared, and let them disable it if they want.
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