OnePlus is collecting your private data without permission

OnePlus OxygenOS phone data tracking raises privacy concerns

Chris D Moore, a OnePlus 2 user, found out using a security tool that OnePlus has been collecting user data from his phone and transmitting it to a US-based Amazon Web Server (AWS). After analyzing the data the phone was sending to domain, he learned that it contained information about the screen, device unlock events, abnormal reboots, serial number, IMPEI, phone numbers, MAC address, mobile network names, IMSI prefixes, as well as wireless network ESSID and BSSID.

Nonetheless, after detailed inspection, Moore found that his phone was frequently sending data to the server over HTTPS. After the launch of the OnePlus 5, the company had to deal with claims of faking benchmarks as well as criticisms over its copy-pasting of Apple's iPhone 7 Plus design and sooner than later, the company was also in hot soup after it was discovered that dialing 911 on the phone was not possible. At least these are anonymised, right? "Well, not really - taking a closer look at the ID field, it seems familiar; this is my phone's serial number". After diving more into the issue, Moore found that the phone also shared details like which apps were opened and at what time.

OnePlus said that the analytics were being sent to an Amazon server through a secure HTTPS channel and it helps them fine tune their software. The first stream, according to OnePlus, is for usage analytics, so that it can develop software according to the behavior of its users. Further, the company says users can turn off the data collection by going to Settings, then Advanced, and deselecting the option in "Join user experience program".

Moore before putting out all the information did contact OnePlus Support team back in January with the concern on which OnePlus was unable to give a permanent fix.

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There are speculations that OxygenOS, the company's custom version running on top of Android, could contain a particular plug-in to enable the transmission.

Earlier, there was no confirmation if this was typically the case with OnePlus 2 devices or all OnePlus devices.

This could adversely affect other features that depend on the OnePlus Device Manager though, so use the solution with caution.

According to an NDTV website, the data collection has been sourced to a system application called "OnePlus System Service" which cannot be turned off but can be disabled every time you turn your device on. The discovery, which violates user privacy, was downplayed by OnePlus as a method for providing better software and after-sales support.

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