OnePlus’s OxygenOS Accused of Tracking Smartphone User Activity

OnePlus’s OxygenOS Accused of Tracking Smartphone User Activity

OnePlus is a popular Android-based smartphone that uses its own custom build called OxygenOS. Some OnePlus users are raising privacy concerns about OxygenOS’s extensive phone tracking capabilities.

Users claim that the way OxygenOS collects data makes it possible to connect OnePlus users with the data they generate. While many phone tracking apps anonymize data, some users claim the OnePlus smartphone isn’t doing this.

The first mentions of this tracking appeared on the internet in summer 2016. However, the internet blew up with more OnePlus phone tracking information this past week when security researcher Christopher Moore published a detailed breakdown of OxygenOS’s data collection on his website.

Moore followed up with a tweet to OnePlus support:

The OnePlus 5 was released earlier this year. Like previous OnePlus smartphones, OnePlus 5 was praised for its flagship-like specs and low price. The phones are manufactured in China and known for their reliability and sturdy build design.

How Does OnePlus Collect Data Through OxygenOS?

OnePlus’s smartphone tracking issue is linked to its collection of telemetry data.

Users argue that OxygenOS oversteps its boundaries with its telemetry data tracking, and that this data tracking is far too expansive. They also claim that OnePlus could potentially connect certain bits of data with certain users.

Telemetry data tracking can include a surprising range of information about your phone, including things like:

  • When the device’s screen is turned off and on, including timestamps
  • The serial number of your phone
  • Your phone number
  • Your IMEI
  • Your MAC address
  • IMSI prefixes
  • The mobile network you use
  • The ESSID and BSSID of any Wi-Fi networks you use
  • Which apps you open, and how long you use those apps for

Obviously, a lot of smartphones track this information. However, this data is typically anonymized. That doesn’t appear to be the case with OnePlus’s OxygenOS. As reported by SlashGear, “By all accounts, the data, which is being sent back to a OnePlus server, isn’t anonymized.”

How to Disable OnePlus’s Smartphone Tracking on OxygenOS

If you know a bit about Android rooting, then it’s surprisingly easy to fix your OxygenOS smartphone tracking problem. Twitter user Jakub Czekanski explained how to disable phone tracking in a tweet:

In other words, you just use adb (without root) by substituting the net.oneplus.odm for “pkg”.

This will remove the OnePlus Devier Manager app via adb. Alternatively, there’s an easy method available below.

OnePlus Responds, Offers Easy Fix

OnePlus has officially issued a response to this issue. Their response came after Christopher Moore’s technical breakdown we mentioned above.

OnePlus maintains that it collects data over secure streams in order to optimize its software for a better user experience. They also do it to “provide better after-sales support” – whatever that means.

OnePlus also mentioned an official fix for the issue.

You can stop this smartphone tracking process at any time by going to Settings > Advanced > Join user experience program. Toggle that option off.

Conclusion: How to Track Any Smartphone Using SpyStealth

SpyStealth is a popular Android or iPhone tracking software. You install it on your PC, connect your phone to your PC, then run the software. The software will run silently. You can monitor smartphone activity from your PC – including location data, camera info, SMS tracking, and more.

Download SpyStealth today – with or without OnePlus and OxygenOS.