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Carrier IQ Relents, Apologizes 78

Posted by timothy
from the well-said-gentlemen dept.
symbolset writes "Update from an earlier story here, where Carrier IQ was pursuing a security researcher for pointing out privacy issues in an application alleged to track and record the activities of smartphone users. The company has relented, and retracted their Cease and Desist letter. In their press release [PDF] they say: 'As of today, we are withdrawing our cease and desist letter to Mr. Trevor Eckhart. We have reached out to Mr. Eckhart and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to apologize. Our action was misguided and we are deeply sorry for any concern or trouble that our letter may have caused Mr. Eckhart. We sincerely appreciate and respect EFF's work on his behalf, and share their commitment to protecting free speech in a rapidly changing technological world.' Notch another win for the Streisand effect."
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Carrier IQ Relents, Apologizes

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  • by dotancohen (1015143) on Thursday November 24, 2011 @05:34PM (#38161068) Homepage

    The EFF is a great organisation

    Where would we be without them

    Donate https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/11/double-your-impact-take-eff-mission-challenge [eff.org] with dollar for dollar matching by the Brin Wojcicki Foundation until december 31st

    I've sent mine in

    Note that the "Brin" in Brin Wojcicki is none other than Sergey Brin from Google. I think that speaks volumes, the cofounder of Google is giving half a million dollars of his personal fortune to the EFF. What other corporate entity would side with the EFF on any matter?

  • Re:3 Questions (Score:5, Informative)

    by compro01 (777531) on Thursday November 24, 2011 @05:41PM (#38161094)

    1/2. The guy who discovered it wrote an app that will detect CIQ (among other things), though you need to have root for it to work. It'll also remove it for you if you donate a dollar. Alternatively, use a ROM that has it removed.

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1247108 [xda-developers.com]

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday November 24, 2011 @09:05PM (#38162262) Journal

    Note that the "Brin" in Brin Wojcicki is none other than Sergey Brin from Google. I think that speaks volumes, the cofounder of Google is giving half a million dollars of his personal fortune to the EFF. What other corporate entity would side with the EFF on any matter?

    Actually, both Apple [matchinggifts.com] and Microsoft [matchinggifts.com] match donations to EFF made by their employees (up to $10k per employee for Apple, and up to $12k for MS). Granted, this is nowhere near as all-inclusive as Brin's program, but if you count matching donations as "siding with", well...

  • by Shoten (260439) on Thursday November 24, 2011 @09:58PM (#38162522)

    Dear CarrierIQ,

    It's good that you've recognized that the security researcher in question had no illicit intent in mind, and was actually working for the good of the general public. Very nice, and definitely the high road. But...

    It's clear that not only did you unapolgetically and unreservedly produce a product with the explict, baked-in and horrific capacity to spy on the activities of millions of people (with no distinction between adults and minors, many of whom also have smartphones these days), but you also intended to use brutish, irresponsible tactics to muzzle a person who called you out on it.

    So the lesson you need to take away from this is not that pushing the envelope and then apologizing gets you off the hook. The real lesson you need to learn is that, from this point onwards, when I see the brand name "CarrierIQ" before me, my brain will automatically and reflexively replace the phrase "PIG-FUCKING ASSHOLES". And I'm sure I'm not the only ones who feel that way, you scumbag pieces of shit. Fuck you all. I wish nothing more than that the carriers who are your customer base will be ashamed to buy your product, and that you will go out of business.

    Clean up your product and make it about..and only about...what you say your goals are as a company, and after half a decade most of the people who feel like I do (including me) will come around and actually see "CarrierIQ" when we read "CarrierIQ". That's the cost of what you have done, and the real lesson you should take away from this.

  • Re:Snotty (Score:4, Informative)

    by symbolset (646467) * on Thursday November 24, 2011 @10:18PM (#38162588) Journal

    Since it was me who wrote that, I suppose I should reply. The existence of the Streisand effect is well-known but should be more publicized. Lawyers are just not good at shutting people up. The blowback from unleashing the lawyers on people can have far more disastrous consequences than making a mistake and fixing it - it can scuttle a whole company that has unquestionably good parts as well as one that's being questioned. I think it's important that responsible people understand that because it saves everybody a lot of trouble and outrage, it saves the jobs and products unrelated to the issue.

    I think CarrierIQ press release is brilliantly done. I have no doubt they'll use more care to guard privacy and engage the public openly when there are questions from now on. And I think the world's going to forgive and forget, mostly.

    Lighten up, Francis.

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