AT&T Acquires Carrier iQ For Data Monitoring CapabilitiesAT&T Acquires Carrier iQ For Data Monitoring Capabilities
AT&T is now the owner of certain assets and staff formerly belonging to Carrier iQ, a device monitoring software developer, following the news that the developer's website had gone offline, according to TechCrunch.
January 4, 2016
AT&T (T) is now the owner of certain assets and staff formerly belonging to Carrier iQ, a device monitoring software developer, following the news that the developer’s website had gone offline, according to TechCrunch.
When asked to clarify whether or not a deal had taken place, an AT&T spokesperson told TechCrunch that the rumors were true, although they did not disclose any specific financial or personnel-related news about the acquisition.
Nielsen was also rumored to be involved with the acquisition, but a company spokesperson has since denied knowing of any involvement in the deal, according to TechCrunch. One source claimed that AT&T had planned to license specific CIQ technology to Nielsen to help with its network performance metrics.
Carrier iQ is probably best known for an incident in 2011 in which the developer demonstrated how its code was capable of tracking more than 150 million mobile devices in the United States. While this led to several class-action suits against the company, TechCrunch said it does not believe AT&T will be responsible for taking on any outstanding litigation for the company, as it only acquired certain aspects of Carrier iQ’s tech.
It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to guess that AT&T sees the value in being able to monitor customer activity to improve its services, but the true nature of AT&T’s latest acquisition is still up for debate. However, what will be interesting to see is the exact nature and amount of monitoring that AT&T plans to do now that it has access to Carrier iQ’s software.
Data monitoring has traditionally been unpopular among the general public, (despite companies’ claims that they only use the data to improve customer experiences) because users are wary of being watched on the web. Just last month, Google (GOOG) was accused of violating its promise to protect student privacy rights when the Electronic Frontier Foundation claimed that the company had exploited a loophole in its Chromebooks for Education that allowed it to gather Internet search data from minors.
The issue led our sister site The VAR Guy to ask enterprise security expert Ron Culler what role MSPs and VARs should play in maintaining customer data privacy, as well as how service providers can protect themselves in case of customer data loss.
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