Thursday, December 31, 2015

AT&T Acquires Certain Assets And Talents From Carrier iQ

AT&T has acquired certain software assets from Carrier iQ, along with some of the company's staffs. Carrier iQ no longer exists as a separate entity and its website has gone offline. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

AT&T said in a statement: "We've acquired the rights to Carrier IQ's software, and some CIQ employees moved to AT&T. We use CIQ software solely to improve the customer's network and wireless service experience. This is in line with our Privacy Policy and provides a great benefit to users of our network." 

Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, Carrier iQ is a privately-owned mobile company that provides diagnostic analysis of smartphones to the wireless industry. The company’s diagnostic software resides on mobile handsets, but handset manufacturers typically install it at the behest of wireless carriers who use the mobile data to improve network performance and customer service. The company claims that its diagnostic software is deployed in over 150 million devices worldwide. Before the deal, Carrier iQ has raised $42 million in venture capital from investors, which include Accel, Benchmark, Bridgescale Partners, Charles River Ventures, Intel Capital, Nauta, Presidio, Sumitomo Corp. and Mohr Davidow.

Reports said that global information and measurement firm Nielsen was involved in the said transaction. The two companies have been working together since 2011, but AT&T declined to comment on any possible involvement of another company in the said transaction.

In 2011 news broke out about Carrier iQ's software and its potential for enabling invasions of privacy through fine-detail techniques such as location tracking and even keystroke logging. These concerns led to a series of class-action lawsuits filed four years ago.

AT&T and T-Mobile are the last two major US carriers still making use of Carrier iQ's software, Sprint has stopped using the software several years ago after its capabilities raised concerns over possible invasions of privacy. 

Headquartered in Dallas,Texas, AT&T is an American multinational telecommunication corporation. The company is the second largest provider of mobile telephone services and largest provider of fixed telephone services in the United States. In addition, the company is also the 18th largest mobile telecom operator in the world, with over 126.4 million mobile subscribers.  

Image credit: Digital Trends

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