Carrier IQ, a startup heavily bruised last fall by harsh criticism of its handset diagnostic software, today announced it’s hired a high-profile lawyer as its Chief Privacy Officer.
According to a news release, Magnolia Mansourkia Mobley, a CIPP and former Verizon executive, will be tasked with quickly broadening the company’s focus on consumer privacy. She also was named the company’s General Counsel.
“She has the perfect blend of privacy leadership, specific market knowledge and relationships, and legal acumen. This will enable us to further grow and complement our expanding customer objectives,” said Larry Lenhart, CEO of Carrier IQ, in a prepared statement.
The company became the flashpoint in a heated controversy after initial reports its analytics software, embedded in some 150 mobile phones, was capable of gathering a great deal of personal data without the customer’s consent.
The New Orleans-based Carrier IQ defended its technology’s primary purpose to help troubleshoot support tickets, such as connectivity and battery issues in smartphones. It also said the carriers determine what data is collected and stored, such as how third-party applications are faring. Following an initial report that the software logged user information like browsing histories and locations, other security researchers dove into the technology and concluded that the software was capable of collecting such private data, but there was little evidence it had done so.
Still, security concerns remain around potential data leakage and malware attacks, given how many devices carry the technology.
In making today’s announcement, the company took another step towards repairing its reputation.
It’s new Chief Privacy Officer is a 12-year veterane of Verizon, she was its VP and Assistant General Counsel in charge of privacy, where she drove a culture of privacy across the organization. “Her consumer privacy leadership was instrumental in helping secure a coveted place among the top 20 companies in the ‘Most Trusted Companies for Privacy’ – as ranked by an independent TRUSTe/Ponemon Institute survey,” according to the news release. “Ms. Mansourkia Mobley has a proven track record in privacy, including development of comprehensive privacy compliance programs, consumer privacy policies and best practices, and representing her clients before state and federal regulators on privacy, security and other Internet policy matters.”