OnePlus Explains Why It’s Absolutely Okay to Steal Your Data
In the last few days reports emerged that OnePlus is collecting data from its users and transmitting it to a server along with each device’s serial number, according to security researcher Chris Moore.
Moore discovered that critical data such as timestamps of when the device was active and on standby, MAC address, phone number, wireless network, mobile network, and International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers were being transmitted.
These data aren’t really anything different from what other smartphone makers collect from users’ devices. The problem, however, is that OnePlus fails to provide anonymity to the data, Engadget points out in its report. OnePlus, however, has explained how its data collection process works. According to the company, the data analytics is transmitted in two different streams HTTPS (a secure version data transmission) to an Amazon Web Services server.
In a statement, OnePlus said it does transmit analytics to an Amazon server in two streams. The first is for usage analytics to fine-tune its software and the second stream is device information, which it collects for after-sales support. 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.” There’s no way to disable the second stream.
OnePlus Co-Founder Carl Peid today published a post on OnePlus Forums detailing why and how this data is being collected. According to OnePlus, at no point have they shared the collected information with outside parties. The reason they collect some device information is to better provide after-sales support. If you opt out of the user experience program, your usage analytics are not tied to your device information.
The post also adds that by the end of October, all OnePlus phones running OxygenOS will have a prompt in the setup wizard that asks users if they want to join the user experience program. The setup wizard will clearly indicate that the program collects usage analytics. Also to be on a safer side,they will include a terms of service agreement that further explains their analytics collection.
OnePlus has also stated that they will no longer be collecting telephone numbers, MAC Addresses and WiFi information.