After a flurry of statements from carriers and manufacturers who claim not to install the Carrier IQ tracking software, we've finally gotten an official statement from Sprint, which admits to using Carrier IQ but says it's just for analyzing network performance. Sprint says it collects "enough information to understand the customer experience with devices on our network," but that it can't look at the contents of messages, photos, or videos using Carrier IQ. Of course, this story broke when a Sprint HTC Evo 3D was shown logging keystrokes and call information, so the question remains if Carrier IQ on Sprint phones can monitor, store, or send that data — we'll ask for a clarification.

Sprint also says that its privacy policy clearly says that it collects information about how devices are functioning and being used, and that "Carrier IQ is an integral part of the Sprint service." That sounds to us like Carrier IQ should be covered under Sprint's privacy policy, but the link isn't explicitly made — we're also following up to make sure that's accurate and to find out what options there are for customers who'd like to turn Carrier IQ off. Here's the full statement:

Carrier IQ provides information that allows Sprint, and other carriers that use it, to analyze our network performance and identify where we should be improving service. We also use the data to understand device performance so we can figure out when issues are occurring. We collect enough information to understand the customer experience with devices on our network and how to address any connection problems, but we do not and cannot look at the contents of messages, photos, videos, etc., using this tool. The information collected is not sold and we don't provide a direct feed of this data to anyone outside of Sprint.

Sprint is well known for our serious commitment to respecting and protecting the privacy and security of each customer's personally identifiable information and other customer data. A key element of this involves communicating with our customers about our information privacy practices. The Sprint privacy policy makes it clear we collect information that includes how a device is functioning and how it is being used. Carrier IQ is an integral part of the Sprint service. Sprint uses Carrier IQ to help maintain our network performance.