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Thread: Verizon adding Carrier IQ-esque diagnostics tool to some phones, but not as scary

  1. Editor in Chief
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    Verizon adding Carrier IQ-esque diagnostics tool to some phones, but not as scary


    Verizon is stepping gingerly into dangerous territory, all in the name of trying to improve the customer service experience at the support level. Not too long ago, Verizon was one of the few cell phone carriers that didn't get tangled up in the "Carrier IQ debacle". (In case you missed it, Carrier IQ was a remote diagnostic tool that was pre-installed on a host of phones across several different Carriers that could remotely track a lot of personal information from a user. Eventually the PR was so bad for these providers that Carrier IQ got the "ban-hammer" and has pretty much been shunned ever since.)

    Verizon was one of the few carriers that never used or installed any of Carrier IQ's software on their devices, and folks were happy about that. However, VZW is currently testing some new remote diagnostic tools of their own that have similar qualities. Luckily, after digging into the meat of these new tools, they don't seem nearly as paranoid-inducing as what Carrier IQ was doing, but should still be shared with you, our amazing readers. Here are the details:

    Both the LG Revolution and DROID Charge received small updates that included, among bug fixes, a new feature that would deliver “enhanced customer support with Verizon Remote Diagnostics.” Verizon claims the tool will improve customer service and will be used when a customer calls the carrier for customer support. Then, with the customer’s permission it will allow a customer service representative to remotely view a user’s device for “device training, application demonstrations and troubleshooting.”

    Unlike Carrier IQ, however, the software “does not run in the background.” And while the software cannot be removed from a device, Verizon spokesman Albert Aydin told BGR that “it only runs when a customer calls support and gives permission to use it.”

    “The tool will not run unless a customer gives explicit permission during a call with customer support,” Aydin confirmed. “If customer support suggests using the tool as a way to diagnose a problem the customer will see a notification on their device after customer support initiates the Verizon Remote Diagnostics tool. A customer will then see a permission request directly on their device along with ‘terms and conditions’ and an ‘Accept’ or ‘Reject’ button. A customer will need to select ‘Accept’ in order for the tool to run. Customers are free to select ‘Reject’ and the tool will not run.”
    So, tell us what you think of this new idea from Verizon. Is it a good way to handle the situation, or still too "big brotherish" for your taste?

    Thanks for the tip, Truss!

    Source: BGR
    Last edited by dgstorm; 03-21-2012 at 08:57 AM.
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    #2
    Anytime there is an option to reject or accept I'm fine with it. There is a lot of value in this "service" to VZW customers. Maybe not with members on these forums, but for the average consumer I think it's an EXCELLENT concept.
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    Sounds like this could be a problem if you root your phone or do some other modifications? Could they see some apps that might not be too Verizon friendly like 'Foxfi' that turns your phone into a mobile hotspot and nail you for violation of TOS?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cereal killer View Post
    Anytime there is an option to reject or accept I'm fine with it. There is a lot of value in this "service" to VZW customers. Maybe not with members on these forums, but for the average consumer I think it's an EXCELLENT concept.
    I agree. I've never called VZW with a question since I've handled everything myself. However, when my wife broke her phone's charging port, I had her handle it herself as it was her stupidity that ended up getting the port broken. She was like a deer in headlights and that feature would have been very helpful for her if it was needed. The reject or accept option is very welcome. I'd like to know what info they will have access to or if they download any info from my phone automatically at connect though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cereal killer View Post
    Anytime there is an option to reject or accept I'm fine with it. There is a lot of value in this "service" to VZW customers. Maybe not with members on these forums, but for the average consumer I think it's an EXCELLENT concept.
    Every phone should come with the droidforums and xda apps preinstalled
    cereal killer and biiishplz like this.
    My cMetal 11.0 rom for the verizon galaxy nexus

    Phone- The GALAXY NEXUS LTE a​ll the
    Rom- My own cMetal 11.0 rom (linaro enhanced cm-11.0)
    Kernel- ASKP or my modified mpokang v10 superram kernel
    previous phone the trusty ol' droid 1
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    #6
    It may not be running in the sense that they can see what you're doing, but it sounds like it needs to be physically running in order to receive a command from Verizon when they send a request to view, I can see it hurting battery life.
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    I wonder, like Paulhusker, if this would give them the ability to see apps installed and/or Root and Lock Status of a device. At current, I agree that it could and probably will be a great tool for the common user, my only fear is that it evolves into more of a standard practice to "verify your device" even when I'm calling to ask if there is a network outage or deal with a billing issue (stuff I can handle on my own with the help of the forum).

    While you may have the option to decline the connection, I wouldn't be surprised if they withheld customer support in response. And if a user runs a ROM without the app installed or uninstalls it themselves (requiring root I assume) wouldn't they be able to instantly flag your account/device solely on the fact they can't even request the connection to begin with? (talking more about devices down the road that are setup with it out of the box... lack of the app on existing devices could be explained by claiming that you are not allowing your devices to update)


    Maybe I'm just paranoid.... now where did I put my foil hat?????
    If you always seem to have drama in your life, you are probably the one causing the drama.
    If customer service representatives or restaurant servers always seem to be rude to you, you are probably the one being rude.
    If your computer always seems to be freezing up on you, you're probably doing something wrong.

    In my experience, drama begets drama, rudeness begets rudeness, and ineptitude begets ineptitude.
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    who's to say by rejecting the usage, its still not used?
    Don't get your tightie whities in a bunch if you don't like my humor or get offended when I skip putting smiley faces all over. IF you cannot handle online comments and get bent out of shape, go home.
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by nikecar View Post
    who's to say by rejecting the usage, its still not used?
    For the most part... I rely on the community at large to be the ones to say so. For all the people who try to do shady stuff on the corp. side I'm a firm believer that there are just as many people out here watching and waiting to blow the whistle, just like what happened with CarrierIQ.
    dgstorm likes this.
    If you always seem to have drama in your life, you are probably the one causing the drama.
    If customer service representatives or restaurant servers always seem to be rude to you, you are probably the one being rude.
    If your computer always seems to be freezing up on you, you're probably doing something wrong.

    In my experience, drama begets drama, rudeness begets rudeness, and ineptitude begets ineptitude.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by nikecar View Post
    who's to say by rejecting the usage, its still not used?
    Who's to say they're not already using an app you can't see to listen to your microphone at all times and see through your camera?
    Verizon adding Carrier IQ-esque diagnostics tool to some phones, but not as scary-tin-foil-hat.jpg
    tjk629 and biiishplz like this.
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