OnePlus to back-off from data collection after users’ outcry

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October 16, 2017
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As we reported earlier this week that OnePlus was collecting all sort of data from phones running its OxygenOS without users’ permission. The company is now backing off from the data collection by giving users choice at the front of options instead of hiding it.

This offense was disclosed by a software engineer Christopher Moor, earlier this week when he happened to snoop on his phone’s traffic for a hacking challenge.

After keen observations, he discovered that device was repeatedly sending its IMEI, phone number, serial number, wi-fi network, MAC address and numerous other metrics to the manufacturers.

Earlier, Oneplus responded with lame excuses that they were collecting data to fine-tune our software according to users behavior and to provide better after sales support. It can be partially turned off in advanced settings.

Users were clearly bothered, so yesterday Oneplus posted a substantial response on its support forum. OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei explained that our users’ data privacy is a very serious matter for us. He says,

“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 our user experience program. The setup wizard will clearly indicate that the program collects usage analytics. In addition, we will include terms of service agreement that further explains our analytics collection. We would also like to share we will no longer be collecting telephone numbers, MAC Addresses, and WiFi information.”

He also states that the company has never sent this information to any third parties, which is good. Users prefer to know that their data is not being collected at all but for now, that option appears to be limited to the same command-line tools as it was before.

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