It looks like the unabashed fury of the Android hacking community was too much for data-collection developer Carrier IQ to take: the company has apologized and retracted the cease-and-desist letter it sent security researcher Trevor Eckhart after he posted details and analysis of how Carrier IQ's software works and can be used by the carriers and manufacturers that preload it onto their devices. While the apology is contrite and sincere — Carrier IQ says the letter was "misguided" and that it's "deeply sorry" — the company still says it's being misrepresented, and that it doesn't monitor user data, record keystrokes, or provide tracking information.

So what does Carrier IQ actually do? Well, that's still a little vague: the company just says it identifies dropped calls, battery problems, and "trending problems on mobile networks," while helping make customer service "more efficient." Of course, the main questions are still how the software does all that, what data it collects to do it, and why OEMs and carriers like Samsung, HTC, and AT&T need that data so badly they don't disclose to customers how to turn collection off, but at least Carrier IQ realizes that answering questions with legal threats isn't the right move. Now all it needs to do is answer with some... answers.