Carrier IQ, the venture-backed Silicon Valley software maker on the hotseat now for alleged secret collection of mobile actions on some 140 million smartphones and tablets worldwide, keeps saying that the data it collects is just to help telcos and hardware makers track performance.
We find that odd.
Its site says something very different.
One of its products — it is called the Carrier IQ Insight Experience Manager — is designed to “provide a level of visibility into true customer experience that was, previously unavailable in the mobile industry,” according to a data sheet on the Carrier IQ website.
It exhorts customers to “identify exactly how your customers interact with services and which ones they use. See which content they consume, even offline.”
The full datasheet for Experience Manager is here.
Carrier IQ’s leading Mobile Service Intelligence technology, IQ Insight Experience Manager uses data directly from the mobile phone itself to give a precise view of how users interact with both their phones and the services delivered through them, even if the phone is not communicating with the network.
With user experience increasingly viewed as the key differentiator between mobile providers, IQ Insight enables you to align your business improvements with the things customers truly value.
Identify exactly how your customers interact with services and which ones they use. See which content they consume, even offline.
Identify problems in service delivery, including the inability to connect to the service at all. This actionable intelligence enables you to focus on critical quality and customer satisfaction issues.
Below is a sample report it generates — you can see that, in this case, the report is measuring relative app usage for email, photography and a myriad of other functions.
In October, Nielsen and Carrier IQ issued a press release of their intent to work together. I googled it — clicking on the link to Carrier IQ’s press release brings up a blank page.
Nielsen still has its version of the press release up, which announced a partnership between the two companies.
A spokesperson for Nielsen told aNewDomain the partnership with Carrier IQ is still on — but no work has begun.
“Nielsen and Carrier IQ announced an alliance in October 2011 to explore potential ways to measure mobile services, networks and devices, exclusively using opt-in panels and in accordance with Nielsen’s stringent privacy standards,” Marivi Lerdo de Tejada said, adding “to date, we continue to explore these opportunities, with neither any work for clients initiated, nor any panels created.”
Here is another sample report Carrier IQ purports Experience Manager generates for customers.
Take a close look.
Carrier IQ has not returned calls on its deal with Nielsen.
I’m taking the wider view on this one though. There is no privacy and most of us just live under the delusion there is. Heck, who ever reads the privacy policies and then opts NOT to sign up for a new service, install an ap or turn on a new smartphone? Actually, who reads them at all? We want the stuff and we knowingly give up our privacy while deluding ourselves that companies really care about privacy. Cell phone makers will eventually run out of new features to add, just as PC makers have. With revenue declining from new phone sales they’re eventually going to need something else to sell. That could be data acquisition and its very timely delivery to marketers.