OnePlus May Be Tracking Your Data. Here’s How To Ensure It Doesn’t.
OnePlus line of smartphones has become increasingly popular in recent years because they offer strong specs and stock Android for a price that’s much more affordable than some other options. However, a security researcher at Redgate, an English software firm, uncovered something disturbing when he was testing his OnePlus 2. He discovered that the phone was rerouting data to a domain named “open.oneplus.net” which is actually owned by OnePlus.
Chirs More found that his phone, and likely other versions of the phones, was collecting information such as IMEI and IMSI, his phone number, MAC addresses, mobile network names and even app-related functions such as when he used certain apps or turned his phone’s screen off. Data such as this is often used by manufacturers to fix problems in their phones, but Moore found that that the data wasn’t anonymous meaning hackers could have gotten ahold of personal information assuming the company doesn’t take additional steps when they receive the data.
Fortunately, there are two potential fixes to this problem. The first is the solution offered by OnePlus itself. Marshall Honorof, of Tom’s Guide, reached out to OnePlus who assured him that the data was secured. The data is broken into two streams and transferred to an Amazon secured server. The first stream contains analytics information related to the phone. This can be disabled by simply opting out of the “Join user experience program” option found under the advanced settings.
The second packet of data contains device information which the company said was not shared with outside parties.
However, if you want to ensure that none of your data goes to OnePlus, there is a second option though it might be a pain for less tech-savvy users. The forum Hacker News offers the full step-by-step instructions for doing this, but we’ll provide a quick version below.
First, under developer options in your phone’s settings enable USB debugging. From there, you’ll want to plug your phone into a computer via UBS and install the Android Debug Bridge software and enter the following commands:
$ adb start-server $ adb shell > pm uninstall -k --user 0 net.oneplus.odm. That should remove the software from your OnePlus.
Eric is an avid tech junkie, gamer, and comic fan. When he's not working on his PC, you'll find him at your local comic book shop.