John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Carrier IQ: We Volunteered to Be Grilled by the Feds

Mobile analytics outfit Carrier IQ is in Washington this week, meeting with officials from the Federal Trade Commission, but at its own behest, not the agency’s.

That’s Carrier IQ’s claim, anyway.

Responding to a Washington Post report claiming that the company is the subject of an official FTC investigation, Carrier IQ said this is not the case. While it is meeting with federal regulators, the company says it is doing so proactively. It wasn’t summoned to Washington as part of a formal inquiry.

“This week CarrierIQ sought meetings with the FTC and FCC to educate the two agencies about the functionality of its software and answer any and all questions,” the company said in a statement given to AllThingsD. “Although Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), co-Chairman of the Bi-Partisan Congressional Privacy Caucus, has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the practices of Carrier IQ, we are not aware of an official investigation into Carrier IQ at this time.”

In other words, there could be an official inquiry — the company just doesn’t know about it yet. And that may yet prove to be the case. The Washington Post says anonymous federal officials have confirmed the investigation, and the Post doesn’t often make such claims unless they’re bulletproof. So expect to hear more about this in the days ahead.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work