Embattled mobile metrics firm Carrier IQ has released a report defending the company's service and addressing privacy concerns raised by by researcher Trevor Eckhart.
The company said that the IQ Agent software, which allows carriers to gather data on mobile platforms including Android, BlackBerry and iOS, does not collect information such as log files and MMS messages by default.
Carrier IQ claimed that Eckhart's findings were the result of an error which left some handsets in their debug settings, and that such components are not normally accessible to IQ Agent.
"In building a solution capable of scaling to millions of subscribers, we understand that having an effective solution requires that the software gather only the critical diagnostic information and do so in a manner that protects consumers’ information," the company said.
"From a business perspective, using the least amount of data possible reduces costs in providing the service (less storage facilities, less data to analyse)."
Carrier IQ is under intense scrutiny from privacy adovcates and government groups. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has been providing legal support and representation to Eckhart, said that Carrier IQ has yet to answer a number of important questions about IQ Agent.
"The information that we need now is a complete history of all of the profiles that carriers have ever installed on their customers' phones, to learn what the carriers meant to collect. This would be a good place for regulators and others to start their inquiries," the Foundation said.
"Separately, and equally importantly, the carriers and the OEMs need to take the steps necessary, whether OS updates or, better yet, removing Carrier IQ software entirely, to stop the overbroad logging and transmittal of sensitive user data out of their customers' phones."
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