A few years ago, OnePlus was the best phone every one turned to and the company was the one relied upon by many. Now, things have turned upside down (you know what I'm referring to).
Today, a report has emerged claiming that the Chinese OEM is spying on its users. A security blogger by the name Chris Moore, has found that OnePlus is using its custom version of Android, aka OxygenOS to collect data from its users' phones secretly.
Moore used a security tool to observe his internet traffic from his OnePlus 2, and noticed requests to a domain on OnePlus' website. Upon closer observation, he found that the device is sending data such as the user's IMEI, Phone Number, MAc Addresses, Mobile Network Names, IMSI Prefixes, Wireless Network ESSID, BSSID and the Phone's Serial Number to OnePlus' server.
Moore tried reaching put to OnePlus support on Twitter, and got standard replies asking him to doa factory reset, wipe the cache, etc none of which were of actual use to prevent the data from being sent to the server. He says that a similar report has been filed last year on reddit and on OnePlus' forums, so it appears this has been going on for a long time.
What is the difference between spying and collecting data analytics?
If a company declares in its terms and conditions, or announces publicly, that it collects data from its user's devices for research purposes or something like that, it is called transparency or lawful data collection. If the company collects data without informing its users, it is spying upon them. Agreed?
Well, it appears OnePlus is falling into the latter case sadly.
A Twitter user named Jakub Czekański has found out that this data collection can be uninstalled permanently using an ADB command.
pm uninstall -k --user 0 pkg.
In this case the command should go like this,
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user "0" net.oneplus.odm.provider
You can install Minimal ADB and Fastboot, open a command prompt window in the folder which has the fastboot.exe
We will try this on one of our friend’s OnePlus 2 and report back how it works.