AT&T has announced its acquisition of selected software assets and employees from Carrier iQ, a company responsible for developing smartphone debugging software that came under intense scrutiny in 2011. The financial terms of the deal has not been disclosed.
In 2011, Carrier iQ was highly criticized when the public learned that it follows the practice of securing the user data on more than 140 million mobile devices. The company held data of when and where people made calls or sent text messages, apps being used and how they used the web and lot more. This resulted in privacy violations, lax security, lawsuits both from and against the software maker and its partners. This eventually led to removal of Carrier iQ code from phones through security patches.
It is still not very clear why AT&T is buying the same software that resulted in lot of anger and even the introduction of a bill in the House of Representatives. Maybe it happened four years ago and the folks are likely to forget about it. However, that’s why the major US carrier is snapping some of the staff and software bits to avoid the history repeating. Also, this part acquisition would not give way for the company to hook on to any ongoing lawsuits against Carrier iQ.