When the Carrier IQ scandal broke at the beginning of December, Research in Motion took the unusual step of saying it doesn't install Carrier IQ on BlackBerry smartphones and doesn’t authorize the carriers that sell BlackBerry devices to do it either. When presented with the evidence that those carriers have ignored RIM’s ban on Carrier IQ, the company took matters into its own hands.
In fact, RIM took a step that no other smartphone manufacturer has done: it has published instructions on how to tell if Carrier IQ is installed on a BlackBerry smartphone and, if so, how to get rid of it.
You can read more details about dealing with this problem in my eWEEK column, but it’s sufficient to say that RIM has provided a removal mechanism that makes removal of Carrier IQ, or any other undesired application, from a BlackBerry really easy, and users don’t have to “root” the device as they would have to with Android phones. Note that on a BlackBerry the Carrier IQ software is called "IQAgent."
For RIM, the existence of Carrier IQ on its devices is just as much of a problem as the monitoring software that carriers in some Middle East nations tried to install on the devices used by their BlackBerry users. It’s worth noting RIM helped users remove that software as well.
It’s also probably worth noting RIM takes security very seriously, to the point that the company has faced down the intelligence services of nations that wanted to ban the BlackBerry because they couldn’t crack RIM’s encryption. It’s no surprise RIM doesn’t want software that can make an end-run around its security to be on its devices. I don’t think any other company involved in the Carrier IQ mess has taken such a step. Maybe it’s time Google and the makers of Android devices stepped up to the plate if they want their phones to be taken seriously in a business environment.