Motorola, T-Mobile explain their use of Carrier IQ software

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: December 21, 2011

Carrier IQ

Last week we saw several companies respond to Senator Al Franken's inquiries about their use of Carrier IQ, and today we can add two more to the list: Motorola and T-Mobile. First up, Motorola reported that it installs Carrier IQ's software on four of its products — the Admiral, Atrix 2, Bravo and Titanium — and that at the end of the third quarter, around 145,000 of those Carrier IQ-packing handsets had been sold to carriers. However, a Motorola executive added that the company has no tools to track how many of those devices are in use or how they might be collecting information.

On the Magenta side of things, T-Mobile revealed in its letter to Senator Franken that it only began using Carrier IQ this past May and that it's installed the software on nine of its products: the HTC Amaze 4G, Samsung Galaxy S II, Samsung Exhibit II 4G, LG myTouch, LG myTouch Q, LG DoublePlay, and three new BlackBerrys. Altogether T-Mobile says that around 450,000 of its customers are using devices with Carrier IQ software preinstalled. As for what the software is used for, T-Mobile explains that it gathers "technical data" to help it gain knowledge of what's happening both on the device and the network so that it can understand and troubleshoot problems. This use falls within T-Mobile's privacy policy, and it says that Carrier IQ to do the same. The carrier added that it doesn't see the contents of any messages or log keystrokes.

It's good to continue to see these companies continue to respond to Senator Franken's inquiries and shed some light on just how they use Carrier IQ's software. Although it remains to be seen if T-Mobile or any other firms will take a page out of Sprint's playbook and disable the software on its devices, these reports should at least help folks understand it better and perhaps be a little less worried about what it's doing. We'll keep you updated on the whole Carrier IQ situation as we get more.

Via Washington Post, The Verge