OnePlus is slurping personally-identifiable data without user consent

OnePlus is slurping personally-identifiable data without user consent

OnePlus is slurping personally-identifiable data without user consent

What's really baffling is that the Chinese company is already aware of privacy issue, as past year security researcher Christopher Moore discovered his OnePlus 2 smartphone was sending data to a HTTPS domain belonging to OnePlus without user's consent. He accidentally discovered an unfamiliar domain (open.oneplus.net) while he was busy with the SANS Holiday Hack Challenge.

While it is true that most big mobile companies are known to collect data from our phones, most of it is with our consent.

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To his surprise, the device was making traffic requests to open.oneplus.net, which Moore discovered directed traffic to a US-based Amazon AWS server. The company without wasting much time responded claiming that it is collecting data to improve its service, and also added that majority of data transmission can be switched off. Of all the manufacturers out there, the company who managed to anger and frustrate so many users precisely due to its lack of after-sales support is trying to justify its unauthorized data collection on the grounds that it's for after-sales support.

"These event data contain timestamps of which activities were fired up in which applications, again stamped with the phone's serial number", Moore explained on his website. The worst thing that Moore discovered was that some of the data that OnePlus collected included every time a user opens an app and how long they have that app opened on their device. The clueless support team of Oneplus suggesting him weird ways to fix the "issue". The representative didn't provide an explanation as to why OnePlus didn't simply have users opt-in for this instead of having it covertly happening in the background. This transmission of user activity can be turned off by navigating to Settings Advanced Join User Experience Program. Besides this, the company is in the headlines for privacy concerns as well. Moore said that these services had sent out 16MB of data in approximately 10 hours. Even if that's the case, there's actually a way to permanently block this intrusive form of data collection.

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While OnePlus says that the bulk of the data transmission can be turned off with the above instructions, Twitter user @JaCzekanski pointed out that the app sending the data (OnePlus Device Manager) can be removed via ADB, root not required. To do so, the users have to disable the app permanently using the command - pm uninstall -k -user 0 pkg. Undoubtedly, having access to such vital piece of information a company can know a lot about the personal preferences of a smartphone user.

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