OnePlus reportedly mining personal data without user approval

OnePlus OxygenOS phone data tracking raises privacy concerns

OnePlus has been collecting very specific usage data

That is too much of data to collect from users and company can always track it back to phone's serial number.

However, when this issue was reported to OnePlus, the company confirmed that they transmit analytics data in two different streams over HTTPS to an Amazon server. Moreover, Moore discovered the OxygenOS also gathers time stamps of when the user opened and closed apps, or which activities were being opened. OnePlus has said that the data only contains "usage analytics" which is used to "fine tune our software". This transmission of usage activity can be turned off by navigating to "Settings" - "Advanced" - "Join user experience program". In a time where user information and security of sensitive information is becoming more important, a transparent and comprehensive understanding of what information is being collected and for what goal (as well as the option to completely opt out of such collection) would be greatly appreciated in any situation. Though OnePlus claims its doing this to provide better after-sales support, most users might not be happy about being kept out of the loop all this while. However, going by OnePlus' statement, chances are the company is collecting information from these flagships as well. Besides this, the company is in the headlines for privacy concerns as well. It appears that the Chinese manufacturer is breaking consumers trust in a bid to provide them with improved after-sales support.

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After deeper investigation, the culprit responsible for data collection is a system app called “OnePlus System Service”. However, Jakub Czekański has provided a suggestion on how to disable them permanently.

As an incremental update, OnePlus says that only a few batch of people will receive it first, and in coming days, the update will reach every OnePlus 5 user in the country. There are two apps those were blamed for the collection and sharing of the personal information with the OnePlus domain. Other Chinese OEMs like OPPO, Vivo and Xiaomi have also been accused in the previous year for sending sensitive user information to Chinese servers at regular intervals. Discussions about this tracking were first raised in summer 2016, but caught public attention in a bigger way recently when security researcher Christopher Moore published a detailed breakdown of the data collection on his website. Hence, companies should be very transparent on letting it consumers know what information they are collecting from the user and the objective behind doing so. It also added that the data transmission can be switched off.

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