Is Oneplus Sending Your Data To A Server In Singapore Owned By A Chinese Firm? What Is The Truth?
Ever since OnePlus has been launched in 2013, the smartphone company has stayed at the top of its game. The company, competing with Samsung and Apple, has produced smartphones in the premium smartphone segment, with some cool features, and at great prices.
The graph of OnePlus’s success is steadily on the rise, and as of April 2019, the popularity of OnePlus has been among the top five, where the premium smartphone market is concerned.
However, there’s a glitch.
Behind the classy smartphones of OnePlus that we purchase, half of us don’t know that the internal data on our devices is probably being transferred to China!
How is that possible? Read on to know!
OnePlus Launches Beta Update
OnePlus has recently launched the Beta update, OxygenOS Open Betas, to OnePlus 5, OnePlus 5T, OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T phones. This update will change the functionality of the phone to the tee. It includes the features that enable live background activity for apps while the Quick Reply feature is being used in the landscape mode, new UI for updates, enhanced search functionality in the OnePlus community app, and a feature that gives out warnings about overheating too.
OnePlus has another new feature comprised in these update, which is being deemed as the culprit. This feature is an Intelligent Cleanup feature by the Chinese internet giant Tencent and is called ‘Clean’. This app is installed in the File Manager and is exclusively for India users.
Beta Update’s ‘Clean’ Feature Is Not So Clean!
At the first impression, Clean seems pretty harmless, that simply separates unnecessary files on the device for the user to clear out. However, ‘Clean’ asks for some permissions from the user, which are way different than normal, and that is shady.
The privacy statement about the update by OnePlus says that the app must be given permission to send all the data on the phone back to the Tencent server, all the way to Singapore!
While this is fine for the generic data on the phone, such as Android version, language, region, and hardware model, the app is also hinting at trading sensitive and private data such as application caching details and app usage details too.
Users have also raised alarm on the company’s decision to include bloatware in the phones as OnePlus and its devices have always openly been against stocking up the phone with unnecessary software.
A petition against OnePlus has also started on Reddit, which asks for the removal of the file manager cleaning app.
OnePlus Following Xiaomi’s and Huawei’s Footsteps?
Smartphone companies have been taking undue advantage of users’ trust since 2014, and in 2019, the scenario does not differ.
A Redmi Note (the sub $150 Phablet from Xiaomi) user found himself in a similar controversy. His device was found transferring extremely private data, like text messages and photos to an absolutely unknown IP address in China. On further inspection, which added to the atrocity of the whole affair, the IP address belonged to the Chinese Government.
This was followed by the Indian Air Force warning people to discontinue the use of Xiaomi devices.
Another Chinese brand, Huawei which has been climbing the ladder to the top, also has the same fraud written in its tainted history. It was reported to have hacked BSNL’s towers, which led to the Indian Government refusing Chinese smartphone companies like Huawei and ZTE to participate in the 5G roll out.
How will this data leak affect OnePlus’ popularity? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section!