AT&T Makes Partial Aquisition Of Controversial Carrier IQ Data Collection Firm

Carrier IQ, the controversial network diagnostics firm that once stood accused of violating Federal wiretapping laws, is no longer a standalone business. The website is gone and so are most of its employees. That's because it's been picked over by AT&T, which bought the rights to the company's software.

"We've acquired the rights to Carrier IQ's software, and some CIQ employees moved to AT&T. We use CIQ software solely to improve the customer's network and wireless service experience. This is in line with our Privacy Policy and provides a great benefit to users of our network," AT&T said.

Carrier IQ's software has raised concerns among privacy advocates in the past. Those concerns boiled over to multiple class action lawsuits against the company four years ago, along with several handset makers, which are still being partially litigated.

AT&T Building

The aforementioned wiretapping charge was eventually dismissed, though allegations that Carrier IQ violated numerous state laws are still being argued.

Nielsen, which as been working with Carrier IQ for the past several years, is also said to be involved in the deal. The two firms have been collaborating to measure the performance of mobile networks and devices.

Out of the four major wireless carriers in the U.S., only Verizon said it's never used Carrier IQ's software. Sprint used it only briefly but quickly dropped it following the negative publicity. AT&T and T-Mobile are thought to be the last two still making use of the company's software.