OnePlus' OxygenOS found to be linking device IDs to collected analytics data

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Smartphone maker OnePlus, a competitor against Apple's iPhone, is both collecting a lot of analytics data from users and linking it to personally identifiable information, according to one security researcher.




The analytics data includes information such as how often a phone is unlocked, and which apps are being opened and for how long, said Christopher Moore. While that sort of collection is not atypical -- and can be switched off by opting out of the company's "user experience program" in OxygenOS settings -- the company is connecting it to device information in a second stream containing things such a phone's serial number.

"We securely transmit analytics in two different streams over HTTPS to an Amazon server," OnePlus said in a statement seen by Engadget. "The first stream is usage analytics, which we collect in order for us to more precisely fine tune our software according to user behavior. This transmission of usage activity can be turned off by navigating to 'Settings' -> 'Advanced' -> 'Join user experience program'. The second stream is device information, which we collect to provide better after-sales support."

Users can't opt out of this second stream.

OnePlus is best known for making smartphones that deliver high-end specifications for a relatively low cost. The OnePlus 5 is $479, but includes 6 gigabytes of RAM, 64 gigabytes of storage, and a dual-lens camera. A 64-gigabyte iPhone 8, while faster, ships with a single-lens camera and less RAM for $699.

OxygenOS is a modified version of Google's Android, which has sometimes come under fire for its own data collection.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    This
    Users can't opt out of this second stream.

    Should be the killer fact that stops people buying this device.
    But the cost savings over an iPhone or people not caring about their personal information won't stop sales.

    There are many Android users who are aware of personal data security don't care about their device feeding the Google behmoth.


    calimagman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 10
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,043member
    Ah that explains the Google Max speaker being more expensive than Apple own Homepod. 

    Anyway, I love the way AndroidPolice put this:
    "OnePlus, in its never-ending mission to make itself the worst Android phone manufacturer on the planet, has been discovered collecting massive amounts of analytics data from phone owners."

    Be sure to read the links (Blue type)
    GG1
  • Reply 3 of 10
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 142member
    That is why their devices are so much cheaper, like alexa speakers, and google speakers, the profit is the user.
    It’s a legitimate business model as long as the buyer understands this and it’s implications.  The problem is that most do not.
    caliGG1
  • Reply 4 of 10
    JWSC said:
    That is why their devices are so much cheaper, like alexa speakers, and google speakers, the profit is the user.
    It’s a legitimate business model as long as the buyer understands this and it’s implications.  The problem is that most do not.
    That's the problem with most online privacy issues, most people don't understand the implications.  Any time an online privacy conversation comes up I always hear "I don't have anything to hide" or "I don't care, I don't have any nude selfies", that sort of thing. People are just unaware of how much and what type of data is collected about them.  I don't believe they don't really care, they just don't know.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 10
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Why is an iPhone pictured? Makes Apple look bad. 
    tallest skil
  • Reply 6 of 10
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,043member
    cali said:
    Why is an iPhone pictured? Makes Apple look bad. 
    ;)
  • Reply 7 of 10
    cali said:
    Why is an iPhone pictured? Makes Apple look bad. 
    The home button is oblong and there seems to be more buttons than on an actual iPhone.
  • Reply 8 of 10
    Why is this news? How much marketshare does the one plus have? Does it even outsell the Pixel? And everyone already knows that data is being collected on users when using any Android based platform. 

    Data is even being collected on iOS whenever one does a conventional Google search. Startpage by ixQuick doesn't collect data and doesn't profile users, but it isn't even available to set as the default for search in safari. It's why I have a paid for version of iCab on my iPhone. 

    Apple is even making Google search the default for Siri queries. So much for Cook trying to protect our privacy from predators like Google. 
  • Reply 9 of 10
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,043member
    Why is this news? How much marketshare does the one plus have? Does it even outsell the Pixel? And everyone already knows that data is being collected on users when using any Android based platform. 

    Data is even being collected on iOS whenever one does a conventional Google search. Startpage by ixQuick doesn't collect data and doesn't profile users, but it isn't even available to set as the default for search in safari. It's why I have a paid for version of iCab on my iPhone. 

    Apple is even making Google search the default for Siri queries. So much for Cook trying to protect our privacy from predators like Google. 
    If you want to make sure your smartphone maker is not selling or sharing any personal data of yours you have two choices (three if you include what's left of Blackberry): Neither company makes any pretense about what your data is used for. At Apple it is to improve user experiences. At Google it's for advertising and to improve user experiences. Both companies are very transparent about it and neither one exposes your privacy to outsiders. With anyone else you can pretty much guarantee there's sharing and selling of your personal data with various and sundry 3rd parties, and that includes both carriers and phone makers. 
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