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Monday, March 19, 2012

Verizon, Motorola Deploy Diagnostic Software

There was quite an uprising over the while Carrier IQ deal, and carriers quickly learned that people don't like the idea of their every keystroke and swipe on their devices was being recorded. While that may not be the absolute truth as to what was really going on, that's pretty much how the community perceived Carrier IQ and it went quickly into damage control mode and hired a PR firm to educate and inform the public as to what it actually does. 

Now it seems like there is a slow move to push software on your phone that will allow remote access to your phone. Both Verizon and Motorola have programs in place to allow a customer service agent to quickly get into your phone and fix any problems remotely. 

Verizon is calling it "Remote Diagnostics" and is looking to push out to the LG Revolution. Motorola is offering essentially the same service as an app for the Motorola RAZR in Korea called LogMeIn Rescue +. 

Personally I know that sometimes talking to customer service can make my head hurt, but there are occasions when I realize that I thought that I was following the directions of the rep correctly, but was totally wrong. Communication and just being human can sabotage even the most well-intentioned efforts to fix your phone. 

It seems like the programs are rolling out slowly, and they should. The Revolution wasn't exactly a hot seller with Verizon and came loaded down with bloatware and Bing search. Both of these companies are launching on one phone, and it's safe to assume that once the program gets dialed in correctly, it will expand and cover more phones.

The issue here for all your tin foil hat people is what can the carrier see through the magic portal into your phone, and can anything that they see in there potentially void your warranty? Is this designed to cut down on support costs overall, or is it there to root out rooted users and custom ROMs? Anything that the carriers can do to stop people from sending back phones that are really not broken is a good idea, but is this the way to do it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.