OnePlus reportedly mining personal data without user approval


The company is collecting IMEI numbers, MAC addresses, mobile network names and IMSI prefixes, serial numbers, and more important data on a regular basis.

A recent analysis has shown that smartphone maker OnePlus has been collecting massive amounts of analytics data from their phone owners.

Moore has described the data collection in his blog post; the data was being transferred to an Amazon AWS instance from his OnePlus 2 device.

This data includes things like when the device's screen is turned off and on alongside timestamps, a phone's serial number, IMEI, phone number, MAC addresses, IMSI prefixes, the mobile networks it uses, a WiFi network's ESSID and BSSID, which apps are opened and how long they're used.

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While there was initially no clarity on whether the device affected only the OnePlus 2, the company's response clarifies that all OnePlus devices such as OnPlus 3, OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 5 have this issue.

So, how to stop Oneplus from peeping into your device? Moreover, Moore discovered the OxygenOS also gathers time stamps of when the user opened and closed apps, or which activities were being opened.

When asked about this matter, OnePlus responded by saying, "We securely transmit analytics in two different streams over HTTPS to an Amazon server". This transmission of usage activity can be turned off 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' statement reads. Besides this, the company is in the headlines for privacy concerns as well.

Christopher soon realised that Oneplus support team may not be authorised to suggest a legitimate solution even if they want to.

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A Twitter user, Jakub Czekanski, said that the data transmission can be "permanently disabled".

That a phone collects certain information about usage is not particularly unusual - it helps to identify problems and speed up software development. I'll save you the technical jargon, but essentially, he could see his phone sending data frequently to the server over HTTPS.

The increasing penetration of smartphone has its own side effects, and stealing users' personal data is one of the most crucial ones amongst all. 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. In doing so, he noticed that his phone was connected to a OnePlus domain and transmitting incredibly detailed - and often very revealing - data back to the company.

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