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

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. dgstorm
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    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    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:

    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
     
  2. cereal killer
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    cereal killer DF Administrator Staff Member

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    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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  3. paulhusker
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    paulhusker Member

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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?
     
  4. johnomaz
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    johnomaz Silver Member

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    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.
     
  5. metalspring
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    metalspring Silver Member

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    Every phone should come with the droidforums and xda apps preinstalled
     
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  6. geoff5093
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    geoff5093 Senior Member

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    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.
     
  7. Trusstopher
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    Trusstopher DF Super Moderator Staff Member

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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?????
     
  8. nikecar
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    nikecar Active Member

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    who's to say by rejecting the usage, its still not used?
     
  9. Trusstopher
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    Trusstopher DF Super Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
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  10. vatothe0
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    vatothe0 Member

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    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?
    tin-foil-hat.jpg
     
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  11. cereal killer
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    cereal killer DF Administrator Staff Member

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    thats pretty easy to do actually. We have software on the forums after you log on that enables us......wait!! No! I meant that we..you know...of course not!! We don't do those things!!! Seriously...I swear!!!

    Yeah that would be pretty stupid and illegal to do to say the least. BTW Vato where did you get that pic on the wall behind you? It's pretty awesome.
     
  12. vatothe0
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    vatothe0 Member

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    Oh that? Just a picture of tubgirl.
     
  13. gmorgan056
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    gmorgan056 Member

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    Idk, until we know more about how this new tool works, I instructed my wife who has a Charge, not to install the update.
     
  14. cereal killer
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    cereal killer DF Administrator Staff Member

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    Problem is it's going to burn through her battery until she accepts it. It will keep prompting her and using up a lot of juice. Just an FYI in case she complains :)
     
  15. metalspring
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    metalspring Silver Member

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    Im not so sure, dont forget you can disable apps on ics which im sure is almost the same as freezing them or uninstalling them so any phone that updates to ics has a ready-made excuse right there
     
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