The Thin Red Line between Quality Control and Root Kit Privacy Invasion

B. Ostergaard
B. Ostergaard

Summary Bullets:

  • Mobile carriers only want to make sure our traffic is OK; they just forgot to ask.
  • Anything put on an open platform can be taken off, but what about the ethics behind such actions?

 Carrier IQ (CIQ) is a very discreet U.S. software company with an application which it claims helps network providers diagnose a range of problems on Android devices, including identifying user location, causes of premature battery drainage, dropped calls, and other system problems.  The reason for discretion is the fact that the app is preloaded onto mobile phones before being sold to customers, and once loaded, it is very hard to spot, has a wide range of preset permissions to monitor and report any and all user activities on the device to the carrier, and cannot be turned off.  In other words, CIQ meets the definition of a root kit.   

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Mobile Application Development and Delivery: Service Providers Offer Unique Benefits, but Does IT Need Them?

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:         

  • Mobile application development and delivery has become a big focus for service providers, which offer a range of different approaches, including platform-enabled development, delivery of third-party apps, and enterprise app stores.
  • These solutions may complement internal capabilities from IT; what can they do that IT cannot?

The mobile application has become the new frontier for service providers adding to their managed mobility services portfolios.  As hundreds of thousands of mobile apps are now available for download from app stores, at the very least, IT may need help in sorting through, vetting, and establishing workflow procedures to approve or disapprove applications for specific users or departments.  However, service providers want to do more than provide a way to manage third-party applications.  Many of them are hoping to monetize application development and delivery.  For example, a number of operators and IT service providers (such as AT&T, Verizon, and Accenture) are hosting mobile enterprise application platforms (MEAPs) that are used to develop custom mobile applications, or they can deliver third-party enterprise apps as a service for horizontal business processes, for a specific vertical application, or to empower B2B2C applications such as mobile marketing campaigns.  Many large IT service providers such as CSC and IBM are more likely to develop custom applications for a particular customer, but can optionally host them and deliver them as a service.  There are also hybrid approaches; service providers such as T-Systems have developed a set of business applications with broad appeal and are offering them to a variety of customers across different industries.

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