Monday, 16 October, 2017

OnePlus Caught Spying On Users, Here Is How To Disable It

OnePlus OxygenOS phone data tracking raises privacy concerns OnePlus has been collecting very specific usage data
Theresa Hayes | 11 October, 2017, 13:52

Essentially, Moore monitored the incoming and outgoing traffic from his phone to discover that his OnePlus 2 was making traffic requests to open.oneplus.net.

The data that OnePlus is accessing ranges from device information like the phone's IMEI, serial number, cellular number, MAC address, mobile network name, IMSI prefix, and wireless network ESSID and BSSID to user data like reboot, charging, screen timestamps as well as application timestamps. However, it seems OnePlus has been recording unnecessary information like when a person locks or unlocks their phone, complete with a time-stamp. What's really baffling is that the Chinese company is already aware of privacy issue, as a year ago security researcher Christopher Moore discovered his OnePlus 2 smartphone was sending data to a HTTPS domain belonging to OnePlus without user's consent. 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. By all accounts, the data, which is being sent back to a OnePlus server, isn't anonymized. The first stream is usage analytics, which we collect in order for us to more precisely fine-tune our software according to user behaviour.

Meanwhile, OnePlus has given a statement to Android Police, where it has said that a majority of the data collection can be avoided by following this path: "Settings-Advanced-Join user experience program".

This is a key app which collects and transmits the data to OnePlus' servers.

He continued: "One alternative would be to stop the service every time you boot your phone (assuming it doesn't get periodically restarted) or using an app to achieve the same effect, or perhaps prevent communication with open.oneplus.net somehow". Besides this, the company is in the headlines for privacy concerns as well. He looked to Reddit and found an active thread of people discussing the same issue, and people suggested that the OnePlus Device Manager and the OnePlus Device Manager Provider were to blame. However, Jakub CzekaƄski has provided a suggestion on how to disable them permanently.

Some OnePlus phones appear to be mining user data - but is it as bad as it sounds? All you need to do is uninstall OnePlus Device Manager App via adb. Today, the security of user data is becoming important than ever. But, notes the company, this is to understand the problems that the users are facing and solve them in the forthcoming update. Notably, Moore contacted the Chinese company in January 2017 as well asking for solution to permanently disable data collection.