Verizon Wireless Denies Use of Carrier IQ Software

Verizon has also released a statement clarifying that none of their devices have Carrier IQ installed. From GigaOm:

“Any report that Verizon Wireless uses Carrier IQ is patently false,” Verizon Wireless spokesperson Jeffrey Nelson said in an email. In an email follow-up, spokeswoman Debra Lewis elaborated. “We did recently notify customers about new privacy programs; we were transparent about how customer information will be used and gave clear choices to customers about whether they want to participate in these programs,” she said (the privacy policy is here). “Carrier IQ is not involved in these programs.”

Verizon Alters TOS to Profit from Customer Data

Verizon Wireless has updated their Privacy Policy, allowing them to collect your Web browsing history, cell phone location and app usage for third-party marketing purposes. Verizon wired customers (examples: Verizon FiOS Internet, DSL) are also subject to the changes and can expect more targeted ads based on their geographical location. How will Verizon supply this data, and how can we expect marketers to use it? From the article:

“For the business and marketing reports offered by Verizon Wireless, records about Web sites visited, cell phone locations and other consumer data will be combined (or aggregated) to compile reports that provide businesses with insights about their customers,” Nelson said. “For example, these insights may include the demographics (age ranges, gender, etc.) and interests (such as ‘pet lovers’ or ‘tennis enthusiasts’) of visitors to a Web site, or commuters who might pass an outdoor billboard. These aggregate reports could be used by Web publishers to help provide content that is more appealing to users, or to help advertisers better select the ads they will display on outdoor billboards or at other venues.”

The data will be aggregated before it is distributed to third-parties. If you do not want to be part of this process, Verizon offers a way to opt-out online or you can call 1-866-211-0874 to talk to a Verizon representative.

FCC Fires Back At Verizon’s Net Neutrality Suit

As reported on October 2nd, Verizon filed a legal challenge against Net Neutrality in hopes of derailing its implementation on November 20th. According to Phone Scoop, the FCC has moved to dismiss Verizon’s suit. From the article:

The FCC explained, “Verizon’s theory of jurisdiction is that the FCC modified its radio licenses within [certain statutes] because the Open Internet Order cited the agency’s authority to modify licenses, among numerous other statutory bases of authority.” Verizon’s attempt to appeal the rules on a statutory basis, “however, applies only when this Court is asked to review an FCC order that modifies specific individual licenses. It does not apply to review of generally applicable Commission orders that, like the Open Internet Order, regulate a broad group of licensees as a class. … Verizon’s notice of appeal … should be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.”

Verizon Files Challenge to Derail Net Neutrality

A new legal challenge appears as Net Neutrality’s November 20th effective date approaches. From Ars Technica:

On Friday afternoon, Verizon filed its expected challenge to the FCC’s network neutrality rules, suing in federal court to stop them. Verizon claims that the agency has no authority to issue rules affecting the Internet.

I wonder if Verizon’s legal counsel has any experience in these matters.

Lawyer Helgi Walker is overseeing Verizon’s challenge; she previously represented Comcast before the same court and argued that the FCC had no authority to police Comcast’s P2P throttling. She won that case by making many of the same arguments Verizon looks set to deploy.

This should be interesting. As discussed before, this was to be expected. MetroPCS, now it’s your turn.

Why Verizon Sides With Samsung Over Apple

FOSS Patents has published a great article on Verizon’s stance regarding Apple’s defense maneuvers filed against Android handset makers Samsung and HTC. From the article:

Verizon, the largest U.S. wireless carrier, implores the United States District Court for the Northern District of California to deny Apple’s request for a US-wide preliminary injunction against four Samsung products (the Infuse 4G, Galaxy S 4G and Droid Charge smartphones, and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer), arguing that such a decision would run counter to the public interest as it “would hinder Verizon Wireless in developing and deploying its next generation high-speed LTE [fourth-generation] network, the job growth dependant [sic] on that network, and will undercut key public policy goals, including expansion of American’s [sic] access to broadband networks and faster communication with emergency personnel.”

I am not sure how much good Verizon’s request will do in the legal arena, but I read it as “Verizon has bet big on LTE, and without these devices we’re screwed.” Then I came across this:

However, it remains to be seen whether the judge will believe that the market-leading carrier represents the public interest, given that Verizon’s objective of commodotizing smartphone technologies is transparent and that the same California-based federal court has in its records for another case, Oracle v. Google, a document that shows Verizon and Google promised each other unspecified favors, potentially anti-competitive ones since they did not document them in writing.

I would think that Verizon prefers Android over iOS for the simple fact that they can lock down the phones, brand them with their own logo and preload them with crapware, something not possible with the iPhone. Apple’s stance from the beginning has been that they control the hardware and software, and the phone companies are just the pipes. This view is inline with how we view terrestrial phone services and broadband internet today, but something new to the mobile space, and I am sure it makes Verizon uncomfortable.