Oneplus handsets are quite popular with consumers all over the world. However, last week, users were in for a shock when the company admitted that it was clandestinely gathering user data for analytical purposes. OnePlus has affirmed that it will offer users an opt-in option into the program by end October as it attempts to placate outraged users. It will also scale down the Data Collection.

For the uninitiated, the issue came to the fore when security researcher Christopher Moore stumbled on the problem while sifting through his OnePlus 2 for a hacking task. Moore was completing the “SANS Holiday Hack Challenge 2016.” The software engineer noticed a request to the domain “open.oneplus.net” and on examining it further realized that the Chinese OEM was secretly collection user data.

What did Moore?

Moore found that OnePlus phones were collecting phone numbers, IMSI prefixes, IMEIs, names of mobile networks, information on which the user was deploying applications, the serial number of a handset, and more.

What does the OEM say?

The company’s co-founder Carl Pei took to the official OnePlus forum on October 13 to address user concerns. Pei stated that while its OxygenOS gathers private user data, this was a “standard industry practice.” However, he explained in detail why the company was doing so and how it intended to tackle the issue in the future. He asserted that OnePlus handsets collected data to enable the company to “better understand” a user’s “phone behavior.” Also, the idea behind this “usage analytics” collection was to deploy the information to enable a better experience for users as the company could optimize its operating system accordingly to the requirements.

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OnePlus addresses user concerns

The company promises users that come October end, its handsets running on the OxygenOs will include a prompt in its setup. This prompt will query a user if they wish to be a part of the analytics program. Currently, those who are worried about their privacy can opt-out of the analytics. This can be done by navigating to Settings on your OnePlus smartphone, followed by Advanced and then Join User Experience Program. In this category click on the opt-out option.

However, the company cautions that if one opts out of the program, their data will no longer be connected to the device information. This info enables OnePlus to offer the customer post-sales support. If one exits the program them the company may not be able to do so effectively. Users can breathe easy in the knowledge that OnePlus will not be secretly gathering their Wi-Fi details, phone numbers, and more in the future.