Sprint leans heavily on Carrier IQ, while AT&T limits use

Though most U.S. operators use Carrier IQ’s handset monitoring software in some form, they’re not all using it to the same degrees. Sprint turns out to be Carrier IQ’s biggest fan, installing its software on half of all devices while AT&T uses it much more sparingly.

Infographic: Inside Carrier IQ’s smartphone agent

As more and more information comes out about Carrier IQ’s phone monitoring software, it’s becoming more difficult to sort out exactly what data its IQ Agent collects, records and ultimately sends its operator customers. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, however, has prepared a handy infographic explanation.

Sprint admits receiving Carrier IQ data but says it’s not spying

Carrier IQ is feeding Sprint generalized data about how its customers’ smartphones perform on its network, Sprint has confirmed, but it said it does not snoop into the private contents of those phones. Sprint claims its using that information primarily to optimize its network.

Today in Mobile

Developer Trevor Eckhart has released a video detailing the workings of the popular (but little-known) software from Carrier IQ, and the findings are disturbing. The app — which is pre-installed on more than 140 million phones, is nearly impossible to get rid of and can’t be disabled — logs nearly every activity on the phone, from dialed numbers to the content of text messages to Web browsing, and reports that information back to Carrier IQ’s servers. The company claims its software is used to “measure key parameters of service and usage,” as my colleague Kevin C. Tofel notes in this thoughtful post, but I highly doubt most consumers will be OK with it. Expect some fallout in the coming days — and probably beyond.