OnePlus is found to have been gathering user data from its smartphones without users’ consent. This was found by Christopher Moore, a software engineer during the SANS Holiday Hack Challenge 2016.
Moore said that the company recorded the number of times users locked or unlocked their smartphones. It also collected the smartphone’s IMEI number, contact number and mobile network names.
Later the company CEO Carl Pei confirmed that the firm indeed collected user data from its smartphones. He assured that the company did not share the user data with any third-party website. He said that the data was collected to improve ‘after-sales services’ and for ‘optimizing’ the OxygenOS.
“We’d like to emphasize that at no point have we shared this information with outside parties. The analytics we’re discussing in this post, which we only look at in aggregate, are collected with the intention of improving our product and service offerings,” Pei said.
Pei says that by the end of this month, OnePlus smartphones will start prompting if you want to join the experience programme. The programme will mention what data it will collect from the handset. You can opt out of it if you want to.
Pei added that the company won’t be gathering telephone numbers, MAC Addresses and WiFi information from now on.
On a related note, the tech firm has started rolling out Android 8.0 Oreo as a part of OxygenOS Open Beta 25 to OnePlus 3 users. OnePlus 3T users get it in the OxygenOS Open Beta 16. The OS version until now was available for OnePlus 3 closed beta users. The firm has not confirmed when will it roll out to rest of the consumers.
The company, few weeks ago, confirmed that the OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3 smartphones will get Android 8.0 Oreo as the last major OS update. OnePlus 5 will reportedly receive Android O and as well as Android P next year.