AT&T Snaps Up Belongings, Expertise From Service iQ As Telephone Monitoring Startup Goes Offline
Keep in mind Service iQ? Within the years earlier than Edward Snowden’s revelations concerning the NSA, the identify and its software program turned synonymous with creepy, unseen monitoring of all the things that you simply do on a smartphone on behalf of carriers and telephone makers — allegedly within the identify of higher consumer expertise.
Now the corporate seems to be not.
TechCrunch has confirmed that AT&T has acquired sure software program belongings from Service iQ, together with some employees. The website itself — and the broader firm, it appears — has gone offline.
“We’ve acquired the rights to Service iQ’s software program, and a few CIQ staff moved to AT&T,” an AT&T spokesperson tells us. AT&T signed on as a buyer years in the past to make use of the CIQ software program throughout telephones on its community to troubleshoot wi-fi high quality for its clients, and the spokesperson went on to elucidate that this nonetheless the case.
“We useCIQ software program solely to enhance the client’s community and wi-fi service expertise. That is consistent with our Privateness Coverage and offers an incredible profit to customers of our community.”
We’d first heard about Service iQ getting bought by means of a tip, noting “two excessive profile corporations” concerned with the acquisition. Mild Studying, which additionally reported the AT&T a part of the sale, reported that Nielsen was “concerned” within the acquisition.
Nevertheless, a supply at Nielsen, when requested concerning the acquisition, stated, “I’m not conscious of something.” A separate individual famous that Nielsen will truly now be licensing particular CIQ know-how from AT&T. We have now contacted Nielsen to see if it will present a extra definitive reply on the document.
Like AT&T, Nielsen had been working with Service iQ for years already. In its case, Nielsen seems to hyperlink into the CIQ software program additionally to measure community efficiency because it pertains to providers and advertisements.
Different named clients and companions of Service iQ embrace Ericsson, IBM, Symphony Teleca and Teradata. Different carriers that use its software program embrace T-Cellular.
Phrases of each elements of the deal — AT&T acquisition of some belongings and the Nielsen licensing — are usually not being disclosed.
Service iQ controversially rose to prominence again in 2011 after a developer dug up and demonstrated how CIQ code on put in on smartphones — finally masking some one hundred fifty million handsets (this was in 2011) — was monitoring totally different points of how individuals have been utilizing their units.
The listing was described by a Service iQ government as a “treasure trove” and included logging net utilization, when and the place you make calls and sending texts (and to whom), app utilization, battery life and extra — however not each keystroke, as some had claimed.
Information of what CIQ software program tracked unbeknownst to the typical consumer clearly hit a nerve with a public already skeptical about how personal info is regarded by giant firms and different organizations for their very own functions — a theme amplified within the years to return by way of the revelations concerning the NSA and different authorities teams spying, poor dealing with of knowledge in company knowledge breaches and consumer monitoring for business functions.
And so, unsurprisingly, following the revelations, there was a windfall of bulletins about which corporations have been utilizing it (and have been not utilizing it) to gather info; lawsuits over privateness violations and laws drafted to tighten controls for the longer term.
A few of these class-motion fits, it seems, have been settled. As AT&T didn’t purchase the complete firm, we perceive that it’ll not be chargeable for any excellent litigation or settlements towards CIQ.