AT&T

AT&T's responses to questions posed by U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., over the use of Carrier IQ analytics software are probably the most interesting we've seen thus far. 

AT&T has been using Carrier IQ only since March 2011, with the Motorola Bravo the first device to have it integrated. However, AT&T has had its own analytics tool in use since 2009. Called Mark the Spot, or MTS, it differs from Carrier IQ in that it's a traditional application, downloaded and installed by the consumer and not preloaded onto the device before purchase. The idea is that if you experience a network hiccup -- like a dropped call -- you'd fire up the app and let AT&T know. 

Mark the Spot app

Mark the Spot was released for the iPhone in December 2009, and for Android in June 2011. In February 2011, AT&T began packaging Carrier IQ code with the MTS application, first for BlackBerry, and a month later for Android.

Android devices that have Carrier IQ software installed include the Pantech Pocket, LG Thrill 4G, ZTE Avail, Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, Motorola Atrix 2 and the aforementioned Motorola Bravo. 

AT&T says only about 900,000 devices -- or about 1 percent of the device on its network -- have Carrier IQ on board, either preloaded or with the MTS app. And of those devices, 575,000 report back to AT&T.

AT&T also says it does not share any of its CIQ data with "any other non-AT&T company." and that it has not shared data with any federal or state law enforcement. It does, however, comply with court orders, subponeas and other legal orders.

Data collected from AT&T devices is inaccessible after 60 days from being uploaded. AT&T says it has "three downstreem systems receiving personally identifiable CIQ data from the AT&T server." One of those servers stores data for just 45 days, another has data from September 2011, and the third data from May 2011.

Like Sprint, AT&T explained that it indeed collects phone numbers "in the ordinary cource of its business" and for "Voice Call Performance and Messaging Performance metrics." It does not collect contents of e-mails, URLs of websites visited, contents of search quereies, names or contact information from address books, and none of its CIQ profiles is set to collet the content of text messages.

More: AT&T's response (pdf)

 

Reader comments

AT&T's use of Carrier IQ extends to its own analytics app, not just embedded on phone

8 Comments

trying to remove this s*&%t with logging test app pro, as soon as the phone reboots "android system" FC error and device becomes unusable. have to reflash the ROM. looks like this POS seriously embedded into the GSII Skyrocket system.

Nice job misspelling course in quotes: "in the ordinary cource of its business" . If ATT really misspelled it then it's clear where we are.

Data collected from AT&T devices is inaccessible after 60 days from being uploaded. AT&T says it has "three downstreem systems receiving personally identifiable CIQ data from the AT&T server." One of those servers stores data for just 45 days, another has data from September 2011, and the third data from May 2011.

I'd like more information on that AT&T, thank you very much.

Is that ALL Data from May 2011 FORWARD, or is it simply a One Month Snapshot of May?

And what are these systems and what are they used for? And what constitutes "downstream".

Al Franken? are you listening?

My guess is that Carrier IQ is embedded somewhere in Backup Assistant on Verizon, too. Almost willing to bet money.

"Almost" willing to bet money. Is that like "Almost" pregnant?

So, by saying 'almost' you are actually saying you do not know! So why drag Verizon into the dirt just because you have this theory?

The cell carriers are just going to move to another companies software that's all. If they would give us the option to Opt in our out, like CM, when you start your device for the first time, I don't think this would have been such a big deal.

Poor CIQ, they are probably going under due to the average user blowing it out of proportion.

One thing users have to understand is that they could see all that data no matter what, they simply had this software transmitting it securely.

More people need to listen to the CIQ podcast and hear what Jerry weighed in on the subject