We recently wrote about how it was discovered that OnePlus was secretly collecting a huge amount of data from its users that could be tied back to specific users – all without the users’ consent. The issue made the rounds in most tech blogs and OnePlus has now responded to the uproar by admitting the collection of data and that it would tweak its data collection program.
The issue was discovered by software engineer Chris Moore, and his analysis pointed out that OnePlus was using an app in OxygenOS to capture information like a phone’s IMEI and serial number, phone numbers, MAC addresses, mobile network names and IMSI prefixes, and wireless network data. It was also shown that OnePlus was also collecting user data on what apps were used and when users used such apps.
With the public reaction that was mostly negative, OnePlus posted in its forums last Friday and basically admitted collecting data without the users’ permission. It rationalized the collection by saying that the intent of the program was improving user experience on its OxygenOS software. “The reason we collect usage analytics through the user experience program is so we can better understand general phone behavior and optimize OxygenOS for a better overall user experience.”
To basically fix the issue, OnePlus says that it will stop collecting “telephone numbers, MAC Addresses and WiFi information.” There will also be a change in the offending data collection service, where it will be clearly prompted to all users why the company collects such data and provide an option to not participate in its “user experience program.”