OnePlus admits to collecting private data without permission after backlash

OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has clarified in a blog post that the company was collecting data to "better understand general phone behavior and optimize OxygenOS for a better overall user experience.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 16, 2017 3:37 pm
OnePlus, OxygenOS, OnePlus privacy concerns, OxygenOS analytics, OnePlus data collection program, OnePlus dara collection, OnePlus 5, Carl Pei, OnePlus snooping After being caught red-handed, OnePlus has announced that it will scale back on data collection on its devices.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that the smartphone manufacturer OnePlus was collecting all important information from the phones running on its OxygenOS without the consent of users, sparking privacy issues. After being caught red-handed, OnePlus has announced that it will scale back on data collection on its devices.

OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has clarified in a blog post that the company was collecting data to “better understand general phone behavior and optimize OxygenOS for a better overall user experience”. OnePlus, which is a popular smartphone brand among the geek crowd, said that users can anytime opt-out of usage analytics collection by navigating to ‘Settings’ > ‘Advanced’> ‘Join user experience program’.

Additionally, Pei said 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 our user experience program. Pei also made it clear that the company never sent analytics with third parties, which is a sign of relief.

We take our users – and their data privacy – very seriously. The reason we collect some device information is to better provide after-sales support. If you opt out of the user experience program, your usage analytics will not be tied to your device information“, OnePlus Co-founder Carl Pei explained in a blog post.

He went on: “In addition, we will include a 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”. 

A software engineer named Christoper Moore discovered that OnePlus was secretly collecting data from his OnePlus 2.  Moore noticed that the device was repetitively sending its IMEI number, mobile phone number, MAC address, Wi-Fi connection info, and other details. Even though OnePlus was quick to address why it was collecting the data, but it does raise concerns over privacy and data security.

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