Now consider an alternative scenario. Instead of choosing hubris and stonewalling, Carrier IQ could have chosen transparency. They could have attacked the problem by enlisting Eckhart as a partner rather than casting him as an enemy. Instead of sending lawyers and PR flaks, Carrier IQ could have simply invited Eckhart, even paid Eckhart, to come to their offices and help them understand what he saw and how, if necessary, they should fix it. They could have called the EFF and asked for advice on an independent privacy audit. If they truly believed that their software does no evil as their press releases say, they could have very easily opened up the doors to prove it. If there are actual privacy violations due to poor implementations or non-malicious mistakes, they should be looking for all the help they can get, including Eckharts, in discovering and fixing those errors.
The lesson in this mess is: openness wins. When someone points out your flaws, or your company’s flaws, that someone is your best friend, not your enemy. CarrierIQ made this a story by attacking the messenger not the problem, and in doing so created countless more problems for themselves. Learn from their hubris.