OnePlus was recently engulfed in a certain controversy as a software engineer found discrepancies with the way the company collects user data. It was found that OxygenOS, the Android-based OS that runs on every OnePlus handset, was collecting massive amounts of user data without their knowledge. In addition, it was also found that users were automatically enrolled in a data collection service found within OxygenOS.
The idea behind the program is to collect user data in order to address issues and roll out performance upgrades for OnePlus handsets. However, it was found that the extent of such data collection raises privacy concerns for users. For instance, reports suggest that OnePlus was collecting personal user information such as contacts, telephone numbers, Wi-Fi data, as well as other sensitive information.
In response, OnePlus has promised that information gathered via its data collection service is kept secure and only used to assist in customer service. The company further notes that users also have a choice to opt out of this data collection program, which can be disabled by heading over to your device’s settings.
However, it doesn’t take away the fact that users were not aware of such built-in data collection service and neither did they know how to disable this service.
OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei also announced on the company’s official forums that from now onwards, users will get a prompt asking them whether they want to enrol in their data collection program.
“By the end of October, all OnePlus phones running OxygenOS will have a prompt in the setup wizard that asks users if they want to join our user experience program. The setup wizard will clearly indicate that the program collects usage analytics. In addition, we will include a terms of service agreement that further explains our analytics collection. We would also like to share we will no longer be collecting telephone numbers, MAC Addresses and Wi-Fi information”, said OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei.
The move certainly comes across as a step in the right direction as privacy is the number one priority for all users. However, we still can’t fathom why OnePlus would need phone numbers or Wi-Fi information in order to aid in customer service. Therefore, it still remains a mystery whether OnePlus will keep collecting sensitive data such as phone numbers if users decide to opt out of its user experience program.