Carrier IQ

What Does Carrier IQ Mean?

Carrier IQ is a company that provides analytics software to various telecom providers. Carrier IQ has developed analytics programs the provide information about smartphone users to cellphone carriers.


Carrier IQ made news in 2011 following complaints that its embedded analytics systems invaded smartphone users’ privacy. Although Carrier IQ collects performance data, this means essentially tracking and logging what users do on their phones, which critics say presents a risk to user privacy.

The company was founded in 2005 and is based in California.

Techopedia Explains Carrier IQ

In 2011 and 2012, Carrier IQ was addressing questions about its privacy policy and what its software does. At issue is a practice of keylogging, in which Carrier IQ’s software will capture key presses by end users. An information leak on YouTube allegedly showing keylogging by Carrier IQ generated a lot of controversy about whether the company’s privacy policy is accurate. Other issues surround the handling of SMS messages and attached images, where the software maker has claimed that, although messages are typically not decoded by the tracking software, a "bug" might cause some SMS data to be unintentionally included in a recorded data flow.

Some of the latest news on the company shows that Carrier IQ is continuing to respond to privacy issues by hiring key staffers to work with regulators and address security and privacy concerns.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.