Smartphone maker OnePlus came under fire for the way its devices track and transmit usage data.
A blog by security researcher Chris Moore noted information being tracked include screen on/offs, app open/closes, and reboots. However, this data is not anonymised – ID information including the device serial number, IMEI number, phone number, network address and mobile operator is also sent to a OnePlus server.
While the issue is not new – Moore and others have detailed it before – this time around the story picked-up traction in the media.
The data issue is also not the first time OnePlus faced reproach. Android Authority reported the company was criticised for the support offered to customers with regard to issues including software updates; “jelly like” scrolling on OnePlus 5; and accusations of manipulating benchmark scores.
According to a statement supplied to several publications, OnePlus transmits data in two streams: usage analytics, which can be used to fine-tune software; and device information, which is used to deliver “better after sales support”.
But with personally-identifiable information transmitted without explicit user consent or an easy way to opt-out, the company is seeing criticism from its users.