OnePlus Is Allegedly Collecting Private Data

Angelica Greene
October 12, 2017

I'll save you the technical jargon, but essentially, he could see his phone sending data frequently to the open.oneplus.net server over HTTPS.

Logging unexpected reboots would make sense (it could help developers fix OS bugs), but as Moore noted in his blog, recording every time the phone is unlocked or locked seemed excessive. 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 been pulled into the news lately for alleged claims of tracking user data. Unfortunately, in the smartphone industry, it's even harder to get away with backdoors and other exploits that would allow a company to collect personal data from customers.

OnePlus was reportedly accused for collecting analytics data from its users.

OnePlus is collecting private user data without people's permission. What's unsettling, however, is that Moore discovered that the data was not anonymized at all. These amount to a huge volume of data and the reason given by OnePlus for this practice is to collect the data and through analysis find out any bugs in its devices for future corrections.

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This is eerily too much information to be collecting, particularly when it can be traced back to a phones serial number.

Even as this is happening, OnePlus has found itself in an awkward position, nearly similar to what we've seen before with respect to Chinese OEMs, where the owners of the company's OnePlus 5, OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T are apparently being monitored without their knowledge.

OnePlus later told Android Police that it securely transmits analytics over HTTPS to an Amazon server in 2 streams. However, users will be at risk of losing the OnePlus Device manager app in case they opt for Czekanski's method. The company also mention that users can also switch off data transmission activity by navigating to "Settings" - "Advanced" - "Join user experience program". "The second stream is device information, which we collect to provide better after-sales support", OnePlus explained to Android Authority.

While the response by OnePlus only relates to partially stop the device from automatically sending usage data, a Twitter user has posted a way that can end the transmission of usage data permanently. Still, uninstalling the telemetry through ADB seems like the more absolute option.

In a post on his blog, Moore narrated that while participating in a hacking challenge a year ago, he noticed that his OnePlus 2 was sending HTTPS requests to a domain named open.oneplus.net.

Other reports by GizPress

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