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Was OnePlus handing off data to Alibaba-owned servers?

by Justin Herrick | January 11, 2018January 11, 2018 11:00 am EST

Your OnePlus 3T might’ve been doing something very risky while you had no idea.

While enrolled in the beta program to test Android 8.0 Oreo, one owner of the 2016 flagship realized that clipboard data was being sent to servers owned by Alibaba. There was a system app known as “com.oneplus.clipboard” trying to gain network access for data transfers to the Chinese e-commerce company’s servers. Anything a OnePlus 3T copied to paste elsewhere could potentially be compromised.

OnePlus acknowledged the exchange of clipboard data to these servers, and it will be removing the feature in a soon-to-be-release software update.

Here’s the statement Android Police was given:

“Our OnePlus beta program is designed to test new features with a selection of our community. This particular feature was intended for HydrogenOS, our operating system for the China market. We will be updating our global OxygenOS beta to remove this feature.”

It’s not the first time OnePlus has found itself in a sensitive matter relating to the management of user data. Back in October it was discovered that the company’s OxygenOS was collecting user data and linking it to unique identities. OnePlus didn’t apologize, but it did promise to stop jotting down phone numbers, MAC addresses, and Wi-Fi information. OxygenOS was also updated to let customers know what type of user data is needed for their phone to work properly.

Even with this latest mishap went without an apology. It’s a shame, too, since OnePlus’ phones are an excellent value. Now’s the right time for OnePlus to hold itself to a higher standard and stop making errors that hurt trust.

If you’re on a stable build of OxygenOS, you have nothing to worry about. Only the beta program for Oreo on the OnePlus 3T appears to have been affected by this “feature.”

Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...