Carrier IQ initially threatened to sue Eckhart for publishing the research and tried to force him to withdraw his findings. The company quickly withdrew the threat and its CEO personally apologized to Eckhart after the privacy rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation rallied behind Eckhart and said the company's threats were baseless and a violation of the researcher's right to free speech.
After Eckhart's video was posted, an iPhone hacker known as chpwn posted a blog note saying that Carrier IQ is present on the iPhone "up through and including iOS 5. ... However, it does appear to be disabled along with diagnostics enabled on iOS 5; older versions may send back information in more cases," the blog post said. Unlike the other devices, iPhone users can disable Carrier IQ relatively easily by turning off the "Diagnostics and Usage" function in the Settings app, he said.
AT&T and Sprint, two of the largest U.S. wireless carriers, confirmed that its cellphones use the software but only for legitimate service and quality-related purposes. Mark Siegel, executive director of media relations at AT&T, however, declined to say whether Carrier IQ is present in all AT&T cellphones, what notice users have of its presence, and whether users have the ability to turn off the software if they choose. In an emailed statement, Siegel said that AT&T's use of Carrier IQ software is in line with the company's privacy policies. "We're really not going to offer more detail than what's in the statement," he said.
Verizon Wireless, Nokia, and Research in Motion issued categorical denials to Computerworld that their products include Carrier IQ software.
"Reports about Verizon using Carrier IQ are false, Verizon spokeswoman Debi Lewis said. "Verizon Wireless does not add Carrier IQ to our phones, and the reports we have seen about Verizon using Carrier IQ are false," she said.
In a similar statement, RIM denied that it installed the software on its BlackBerry devices. "RIM does not pre-install the CarrierIQ app on BlackBerry smartphones or authorize its carrier partners to install the CarrierIQ app before sales or distribution," the company said in a statement. "RIM also did not develop or commission the development of the CarrierIQ application, and has no involvement in the testing, promotion, or distribution of the app," the statement said.
Nokia spokesman Keith Novak also denied that the cellphone maker integrates the software into its cellphones and said that reports suggesting the contrary are incorrect.