Sprint updates phones to eliminate Carrier IQ

Sprint said in December that it would work to get rid of the controversial Carrier IQ software on devices on its network. And now it's starting to send out over-the-air updates.

Sprint is making good on its promise to eliminate the controversial Carrier IQ software from devices on its network.

On Monday Android Central reported that the HTC EVO 3D, which runs on Sprint's network, will get a new firmware update that will wipe the Carrier IQ software from the device. HTC confirmed on Tuesday its move in a statement to The Verge. The company said that the maintenance software update would "remove Carrier IQ and provide security enhancements and bug fixes beginning in January."

CNET and others reported in December that Sprint said it would disable the software in devices running on its network . Sprint also said at the time that it would not use any of the information collected from Carrier IQ.

"We have weighed customer concerns and we have disabled use of the tool so that diagnostic information and data is no longer being collected," spokeswoman Stephanie Vinge-Walsh said in a statement in December.

The Carrier IQ software came under scrutiny late last year when Android developer Trevor Eckhart discovered that the software running on many smartphones was collecting data without consumers' knowledge and without the ability to opt out of the data collection. There had also been speculation that the content of the messages and keystrokes was being logged, but Carrier IQ denied those claims. And independent security experts also found no evidence of keylogging by the software.

Privacy concerns over the software have prompted several lawsuits . And the Federal Trade Commission is also investigating. But wireless operators and Carrier IQ say that the software has been used as a diagnostic tool. It's unclear what tools Sprint will use now that handset makers are removing the software from their products. But it's likely that the company will find other ways to collect data that can help them improve the quality of their networks.

For more information about Carrier IQ and what the threat could mean , check out CNET's previous coverage.

 

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