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Microsoft's Joe Belfiore confirms no Carrier IQ software on Windows Phones

Carrier IQ

Within the last few days, the Carrier IQ (CIQ) saga has really made headlines amongst the mobile market. The software, designed to collect data from users on their mobiles so carriers can better understand how phones are being used, has come across as sophisticated spyware. Or at the very least, caused serious concern amongst the security-conscious.

We wrote about in detail here and at the time speculated that Windows Phone was exempt due to the way the OS was designed, including how Microsoft controls its modification.  We also asked ChevronWP7 member Rafael Rivera to do a quick security analysis of  the Windows Phone OS and he found no evidence of Carrier IQ being on board, much as we suspected.

Joe Belfiore

Today, corporate vice president and director of Windows Phone Program Management Joe Belfiore finally chimed in on the matter as well, seemingly putting the issue to rest: Windows Phones do not have any Carrier IQ software installed. While good news for our phones, this does leave Android and (old) iOS still exposed. Since the drama started, RIM, Nokia and Verizon have publicly stated that they do not have CIQ on any of their devices (see more at The Verge).

Now we can add Windows Phone to that list too and due to the backlash, we're betting it will stay that way.

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Reader comments

Microsoft's Joe Belfiore confirms no Carrier IQ software on Windows Phones

8 Comments

this is why Windows phone 7.5 Mango is best OS and Fast and Stable. HAHA Iphone and Android users you have Carrie IQ  LOL ...

I wouldn't be too quick to rub it in to other OS users.  If you go to Settings, Keyboard, Typing Settings - what is 'Send keyboard touch information to improve typing and more'.
The 'and more' worries me.  You can opt out of it, but who knows what else is built in, or will be released in the future.  This is a worrying trend that will most likely spread to all devices & OS's eventually.

That's a good point. WP may not have CarrierIQ, but what if they have something else just as bad? You never know.

Do note that on Windows Phone 7 the option "Send keyboard touch information to improve....." can be disabled by unchecking the box, based on what I have seen about CIQ.......it cannot be disabled......can't stop the service, can't change permissions. Most of these similar "sending info" dialogues in WinPhone can be unchecked. Is this not the case?
 

Excellent point... If you're unsure of the "and more" try clicking "learn more" which goes into detail. It seems to want to collect similar information for bettering the phone and experience which is easy to opt out. Furthermore when first setting up the phone there is an option to set things as default/standard which automatically enables the feature but if you select custom it is disabled by default. Anyone who is concerned about privacy as I am and believe everyone should have a right to their privacy, you should look through all of the settings opposed to just hap hazarly rushing through everything assuming all is well. One thing I can give MS credit for is being able to turn the feature off. I still think though whether default/standard or custom it should be turned off by default but should be asked instead if you want to join the customer experience program. If anything throw the customers a bone if they decide to allow for data collection like a discount on apps or something appealing. In any way I'm rather certain there is no Carrier IQ nor any variant on the phone or built in. They have their own system which they have in many of their products, especially free ones like MSE.

I had to laugh at thenet's "HAHA Iphone and Android users you have Carrie IQ  LOL ..." comment. It was like "HAHA iPhone and Android users have the clap" LMAO

Not only does Windows Phone allow you to disable this collection but if you are on the Typing Settings page and tap "Learn more" and then tap "Keyboard typing and user experience improvements" you will see a pretty good description of what they collect and why.  Say what you want about MS, but I think they've done an outstanding job with the details in Windows Phone and have been pretty quick to respond with clarity to concerns about security.  Personally, if this option works to improve the ability of my fat fingers to type better, I say have at it.  There is a great article here that does an excellent job of explaining what type of effort MS put into making a great keyboard.  I love my Samsung Focus and just recently purchased the Focus Flash for my wife.  She loves it.