OnePlus caught collecting sensitive user data

OnePlus OxygenOS phone data tracking raises privacy concerns

OnePlus has been collecting very specific usage data

While analytics data has been a staple for tech companies since existence, OnePlus phones sending out personal information like phone's IMEI number and phone number are a bit disconcerting.This discovery was made my Moore while competing in a hack challenge back in 2016. He also dug deeper into open.oneplus.net and discovered the domain name to be an Amazon AWS instance, which is also owned by OnePlus. On further analysis he realized that, OnePlus was collecting User' phone number, MAC addresses, IMEI and IMSI code, Mobile network (s) names, Wireless network ESSID and BSSID, Device serial number, Timestamp when a user locks or unlocks the device, Timestamp when a user opens and closes an application on his phone, Timestamp when a user turns his phone screen on or off.

Some OnePlus users are again raising privacy concerns over OxygenOS's telemetry tracking, namely that some of the data being gathered makes it possible to connect the user with the data.

In a statement to Android Authority, OnePlus said "We securely transmit analytics in two different streams over HTTPS to an Amazon server".

After the blog post, OnePlus responded to the allegations saying the device information being collected was to improve services and that users had the option to switch off the option of transmitting usage activity at any time. More recently, someone discovered a workaround that will allow OnePlus users to disable OnePlus Analytics without having to root their devices.

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For the most part, these analytics tend to be anonymized, as in they don't contain data that could identify you or your device specifically. Although the security researcher contacted OnePlus early this year, he was led down the usual path of troubleshooting suggestions after which communication has been cut completely.

It goes on: "This transmission of usage activitiy can be turned off by navigating to "Settings" - "Advanced" - "Join user experience program".

Android Authority was able to speak to a OnePlus representative about this issue, but received an unsatisfactory response. The second stream is device information, which we collect to provide better after-sales support. Moore said that these services had sent out 16MB of data in approximately 10 hours. However, the "feature" can be disabled permanently via adb, according to a Twitter user Jakub Czekański. Users will have to run this command [ pm uninstall -k -user 0 net.oneplus.odm ] to remove the OnePlus Device Manager permanently.

OnePlus has been accused to keeping a tab on when people open which app and the amount of time they spend on individual apps.

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