OnePlus Betrays Customer Privacy, Quietly Collects Personal Data

OnePlus Betrays Customer Privacy, Quietly Collects Personal Data

It turns out that the Chinese company has been collecting massive amounts of user data without telling anyone about it. This has largely impacted OnePlus 2 and OnePlus 3 owners, according to the researcher.

It was recently learned that OnePlus automatically collects analytics data from its users without initially asking for their permission.

Information gathered included the phone's IMEI, serial number, cellular number, MAC address, mobile network name, IMSI prefix, and wireless network ESSID and BSSID, but also data like reboot, charging, screen and application timestamps. The problem, however, is that OnePlus fails to provide anonymity to the data, Engadget points out in its report.

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Moore states that the code responsible for this data collection is part of the OnePlus Device Manager and OnePlus Device Manager Provider.

Such a data collection would nearly certainly be in contravention of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when it comes into force in May next year.

"In my case, these services had sent 16MB of data in approximately 10 hours", he explained on its website. He discovered that the phone was rerouting data to a domain named "open.oneplus.net" which is actually owned by OnePlus.

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"We securely transmit analytics in two different streams over HTTPS to an Amazon server", the company explained in a statement, according to Business Today. "Even if OnePlus doesn't have any mal intentions, if a malicious hacker gains access to internal assets of OnePlus, this kind of information, can be used for extremely targeted attacks on mass", said Ankush Johar, Director at HumanFirewall.io, a ITsecurity company. He, however, emphasized that the information collected this way has never been shared with third-parties.

Collection of device information, on the other hand, helps OnePlus "to better provide after-sales support". Thankfully, Twitter user Jakub Czekanski, tweeted that the data transmission can be disabled permanently using ADB tool with USB debugging enabled on the device. If you haven't rooted your phone ever, we will recommend proceeding with a lot of caution.

He also said that all OxygenOS-powered OP phones "will have a prompt in the setup wizard that asks users if they want to join our user experience program".

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