Research In Motion responds: We don’t put CarrierIQ on BlackBerry Smartphones, carriers shouldn’t either

RIM says no CarrierIQ pre-loaded on its Smartphones
By Joseph Holder on 1 Dec 2011 03:29 pm EST

This post in the BlackBerry Support Forums by BlackBerry Development Advisor Mark Sohm speaks for itself. In a nut shell, BlackBerry Smartphones do not have monitoring software CarrierIQ pre-installed on them, and wireless carriers are not authorized to add the monitoring program themselves. That's not to say it's impossible for CarrierIQ to be running on a BlackBerry. If a user or a BlackBerry Enterprise Server administrator chooses to install and authorize CarrierIQ on the device, that's certainly well within their rights.

CarrierIQ was one of the hot topics in our CrackBerry Podcast today. In fact, we talked about this very announcement during the show. Replay is on its way soon.  In the meantime, we've included the full text below for your convenience.

RIM is aware of a recent claim by a security researcher that an application called "CarrierIQ" is installed on mobile devices from multiple vendors without the knowledge or consent of device users. RIM will continue to investigate reports and speculation related to CarrierIQ.

RIM can attest that it does not pre-install the CarrierIQ application on BlackBerry smartphones and has never done so. Furthermore, RIM does not authorize its carrier partners to install the CarrierIQ application on BlackBerry smartphones before sales or distribution and has never done so. RIM also did not develop or commission the development of the CarrierIQ application, nor is RIM involved in any way in the testing, promotion, or distribution of the CarrierIQ application.

If the CarrierIQ application is present on a BlackBerry smartphone, it does not mean that the CarrierIQ application has "hacked" the BlackBerry platform. It means that either the BlackBerry smartphone user or the user's BlackBerry Enterprise Server admin explicitly installed the application and authorized it to run. The user or the user's BlackBerry Enterprise Server admin has full control over which third-party software he or she installs on a BlackBerry smartphone. The BlackBerry smartphone is designed to prompt the user for consent to grant permissions to a third-party application.

All users (of any device from any manufacturer) should always avoid installing and granting permissions to applications from untrusted sources. This simple precaution mitigates the risk of malware or unwanted software being installed on a user's mobile device.

For information on BlackBerry security, visit
Mark Sohm
BlackBerry Development Advisor

Reader comments

Research In Motion responds: We don’t put CarrierIQ on BlackBerry Smartphones, carriers shouldn’t either


the guy that made the claim is an idiot. He is an android fanboy trying to take down other smartphone companies cause google cant turn down an opportunity to steal customer info.

yay BlackBerry!!

Note that about carriers they say, "does not authorize its carrier partners to install the CarrierIQ application on BlackBerry smartphones before sales or distribution and has never done so". That doesn't seem to prevent the carriers from installing the application as part of the activation process... Does it?

Yes, It does.

"Not authorized" could also be translated into "not permitted", or "not allowed", or to put it plainly, they may not, under any circumstance install the CiQ application on a handheld, without prior consent of the user. The carrier couldn't install it during activation, as the only thing "pushed" during activation is service books (even those carrier VPL icons you see sometimes in your Applications folder or home screen are just service book entries), application installs have to be done when the device is loaded with the OS at the factory, not during the sale/activation process.

Furthermore, because the CiQ application is not hidden in the OS, like it is on Android/iOS (at least that's what we know currently), CiQ would be shown in the Application list within Settings, as there is not a way to hide an installed application from that list.

It can also be interpreted as "they never asked, so we never authorized." I would feel better if they stated their agreements specifically prohibit installing unauthorized software.

I'm not too certain about that. Since the carriers actually pay a subsidy to RIM, they in effect, purchase and resale handsets to their end users. As the "owner" of the handsets prior to selling them to users, they may not need RIM's authorization to do anything to "their" handsets. The same way that RIM would not permit governments access to their servers to intercept BBM messages, but instead allowed the governments to clone their servers inside their country's borders. This way, RIM can honestly (technically) say, we do not allow third party interception of our secure BBM messages, while still complying with various government requirements regarding interception compliance. A legalese way to have your cake and eat it too. I hope I'm wrong, but if a carrier thinks this will enable them to make more money and they can get away with it, as long as RIM thinks they can maintain plausible deniability ( like statement above), they will not bite the hand that feeds them. Props to Verizon for being the only US carrier to have a clearly defined opt out process for this.

Joseph or anyone,
Is there a way to identify it on a BB?

Can it be found in Options/Applications/Third Party? Under what name?

what if carrierIQ is deployed in BBOS system cods..
we will never know ...
loads of cods are installed during OS installation...

VERY INTERESTING. So this explains why THREE brand new Torch 9850 phones I purchased from Verizon and shipped from the warehouse came in boxes that were OPENED with the seal broken and battery installed! THREE new phones that I returned and finally went to the store to get a SEALED box. This was a VERIZON BB purchased over the last 3 weeks. After several attempts to ask why my new phones were in boxes with the seal broken and battery installed they had no explaination. INTERESTING! I sent a letter to Verizon customer service and of course no response.

CIQ is not a third party app because you can't delete it . It's installed in the OS. In an Android you must hack it first to remove it. And it's not so easy to find. I was reading that an Android user from TMobile found it in his Samsung Galaxy 2 named System Manager Application. So, in a Blackberry, how the carrier can install it being the OS so closed?

I called T-Mobile and asked if they had installed Carrier IQ on the Blackberry phones. At first they did not want to talk about it but then I was transferred to an agent who told me that there are several Blackberry models that they do install CarrierIQ on to include the Bold9900

I called BlackBerry who told me that it is easy to remove and T-Mobile should not be installing it on the phone as it voids the security of the device.

I called back T-Mobile and they first told me that CarrierIQ is baked into the phones. After I shared with them the details of my phone call with Blackberry, they stated that they would not remove it. They claim that they have the right to monitor the health of the network. When I raised the issue of Security, they told me "it doesn't matter, it is installed and cannot be removed".

If you use T-Mobile, I suggest you contact them and tell them you want CarrierIQ off your phone.