Sprint Decides It Does Not Pay to Be a “Carrier”

December 17, 2011, By George Lang

Sprint has decided it is not a good business decision to continue using the Carrier IQ application in its handsets. “We have weighed customer concerns and we have disabled use of the tool  so that diagnostic information and data is no longer being collected,” said Sprint spokeswoman Stephanie Vinge in a statement. “We are further  evaluating options regarding this diagnostic software as well as  Sprint’s diagnostic needs.” (Choney)

The Carrier IQ service is a third-party application installed on over 141 million devices worldwide that wireless cellular service providers are using “for diagnostic purposes in helping the carriers and handset manufacturers solve problems and improve the customer experience with their products.” (Spike) Apparently Sprint has decided it isn’t worth the legal aggravation.

So much controversy has been stirred because common folk are concerned about their individual privacy. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been named in possible misuse of the software’s capabilities, an accusation it has heretofore denied. Carrier IQ itself has also denied any invasion of personal privacy.

It is no surprise that the Federal Wiretap Act comes into play here. In fact, law suits have recently been levied, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been asked to look into the matter, and the FBI is under scrutiny for allegedly inquiring about using Carrier IQ services in its investigations (Spike).

How do you feel about all this? Individual rights have recently made news headlines on a number of fronts including the Protect IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). DeviceMAG is covering it all and would love to hear your thoughts. Please, leave your comments below.

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