Earlier, there have been reports on OnePlus manipulating benchmarks and incorrect mounting displays but this time around, Moore while participating in the SANS Holiday Hack Challenge made a decision to check the internet traffic from his phone OnePlus2 2. Among the usual network activity, he noticed a large amount of requests to open.oneplus.net.
The info that OnePlus is collecting starts with analytics like irregular device locks/unlocks, abnormal reboots, to the serious WiFi network details, MAC address, phone numbers and serial numbers too. This is why Moore continued to run his proxy for a long period of time and discovered even more information on what OnePlus is collecting. What Moore considered excessive however is collecting data related to when users lock and unlock their phones. User habits and schedules can be easily determined from this data.
However, when this issue was reported to OnePlus, the company confirmed that they transmit analytics data in two different streams over HTTPS to an Amazon server.
The data collection has been sourced to a system application called "OnePlus System Service" which uses cannot be turned off but can be disabled every time you turn your device on.
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"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. Moore contacted OnePlus earlier this year asking for clarification only to be led into a rabbit hole. We reached out to OnePlus, but didn't immediately receive a response. One beams out usage analytics to help in fine-tuning software according to user behavior, while the second sends out device data for better after-sales support. 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. In a time where user information and security of sensitive information is becoming more important, a transparent and comprehensive understanding of what information is being collected and for what objective (as well as the option to completely opt out of such collection) would be greatly appreciated in any situation. The representative said that users can disable the transmission of data by turning it off under Settings Advanced "Join user experience program'".
Some OnePlus phones appear to be mining user data - but is it as bad as it sounds?
The Shenzhen based Chinese smartphone manufacturer OnePlus allegedly has been collecting sensitive information on users without their consent from their devices.