updated 04:05 pm EST, Fri December 16, 2011
Sprint backs off from active Carrier IQ use
Sprint in a statement Friday said the carrier had stopped collecting Carrier IQ data from phones. Representative Stephanie Vinge-Walsh explained to Android Central that the software was still in place, but the company had stopped picking up cellular data. She drew a direct link between public reaction and the move, noting that the carrier had "weighed customer concerns" before making the switch.
"At Sprint, we work hard to earn the trust of our customers and believe this course of action is in the best interest of our business and customers," Vinge-Walsh said.
Signs have emerged that Sprint might be pulling Carrier IQ from phones, but with 17 total devices, considerably more evidence would need to emerge without an official plan. If the data halt is permanent, however, Sprint would have no reason to keep the software inside.
Many of the concerns raised early on about Carrier IQ possibly logging messages have since been reduced as overblown. Technical explanations have still raised worries, since the service is sending out text messages through a bug, even if the messages are unreadable. HTC phones have been the main concern as they might be unintentionally saving data Carrier IQ collects on the device, including keystrokes.
AT&T and T-Mobile so far haven't shown any intention to pull the software out, although they have also emphasized how they don't collect personal information. Their continued use might still lead to trouble after Senator Al Franken said he was still "very troubled" by what he had learned Carrier IQ might collect.
Most of the devices under scrutiny use Android or the BlackBerry platform. Sprint will have never put Carrier IQ on the iPhone, having only received the device with iOS 5 and the code already disabled.