Last week, it was discovered that OnePlus was silently collecting some key user data through the analytics app in OxygenOS. This includes the IMEI number, MAC addresses of Wi-Fi networks, when the handset is unlocked, and when a user opens an app etc. The discovery led to a huge outcry among OnePlus users who found the move from the company unethical and in violation of their privacy.
Now, in a forum post, OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has clarified the company’s stance on the data they collect. More importantly, Carl promises that by the end of October, all OxygenOS running devices will start showing a prompt in the setup wizard asking for a user’s confirmation if they want to enter into the analytics program or not.
The company automatically enrolled all OxygenOS users into the analytics program without their consent. It does allow one to opt-out from the program but the option is buried inside the Settings menu.
Additionally, OnePlus will also stop collecting user information like phone numbers, MAC addresses, and Wi-Fi network details.
Carl says the company collected such information because it allowed to better understand user behaviour and optimise OxygenOS for a better overall user experience. He also clarified that OnePlus never shared the collected data with any external third party and it was only used in aggregate analytics.
We take privacy very seriously and do not share analytics with third parties. Our intention has always been to better serve our users. Looking ahead, we will continue working directly with our users to do so.
If as a OnePlus user, you were appalled and disappointed with OnePlus collecting key user information, well then there was your apology from the company. Now that it has even promised to specifically ask for user consent during the setup process, there is not much that the company can do. This move, however, is definitely going to paint a negative image of OnePlus in the eyes of many of its customers.