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OnePlus privacy shock: So, the cool Chinese smartphones slurp an alarming amount of data

Silver badge

Re: And?

That's the thing. The Chinese govt. repressive yes. Able to have any effect on me due to their potentially knowing what apps I use and for how long. No.That's just silly If I were dealing with China, supporting dissenters, or planning to overthrow their govt. I wouldn't be using my One+ 5. But then in most of those cases I wouldn't be using any smartphone.

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Re: And?

would u consider the us, canada, britain, switzerland, sweden, australia to be represive?

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Re: And?

remember this, the british police have the power to come to your house, and kick down your door if their superiors perceive you to be a threat. chinese police do not

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Devil

Say what?

We do not sell share any analytics data with outside parties

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Meh

So add another intelligence agency to the list syping on us

Whatever the ROC calls their electronic spies - in addition to the NSA, GCHQ, FSB, DGSE, etc.

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I don't care

I don't care. Google has been slurping up a million times more personal data.

The OP5 is the best phone I've ever owned.

I do have to say, the negative OP articles have conveniently followed the Pixel 2 launches. Someone trying to steal some customers from OP, me thinks.

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Re: I don't care

I don't care either. Partly because I don't own the device but mostly cos the information they are collecting would be no risk to my safety or peace of mind:

- International Mobile Equipment Identity: Serial number of the device - they probably knew that already. They made it. I give it other people, Google for one, my insurance company. I wouldn't class it as restricted.

- phone numbers: I give those out so that people can call me - they are public. Mines on my LinkedIn profile ffs. Linking it to the IMEI and MAC in a database - OK - there's edge cases where if I was a terrorist (or journalist in a bad environment) I might want to object but . . . ? As a normal person I don't have a clue what to worry about.

- MAC addresses: Err - can't be bothered to answer. Everyone gets those through the network protocols. Manufacturer knows them anyway. Linking them to the phone number achieves little.

- mobile network: I refer you to the answer I gave some moments ago.

- among other things: What other things?

Storm. Tea-cup.

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Re: I don't care

No problem then. However. let me remind you of a famous poem.

"First they came for....and I did not speak out for I was not a...."

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Does IMEI count as personally identifiable info?

If so then the DPA, and GDPR, may have something to say about this.

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Re: Does IMEI count as personally identifiable info?

No. No it doesn't. Does the serial number of your TV count as personally identifiable info?

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Re: Does IMEI count as personally identifiable info?

Does the serial number of your TV count as personally identifiable info?

No, but no-one has that on record, not even the selling shop. My phone provider has my IMEI, though, and it shows up when I log in to my account. IMEI isn't just "the serial number of the phone".

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Re: Does IMEI count as personally identifiable info?

It isn't personally identifiable by itself, but all they need is to tie your IMEI and you together ONCE, and then it is personally identifiable info from then on, until you change phones.

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Re: Does IMEI count as personally identifiable info?

So. If the IMEI is held in a database alongside PII then you could potentially identify the owner of the phone. If you both knew the IMEI and had access to the database.

Its not the IMEI thats the identifier though. If they are sticking it in a database alongside the phone number (which is PII) then theres a problem.

A|nd I think you are probably wrong about shops not having records of purchasers versus TVunits serial numbers. I might be wrong. Easy enough to do.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Does IMEI count as personally identifiable info?

And if the IMEI is cloned then it's game over yes?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Does IMEI count as personally identifiable info?

If they are sticking it in a database alongside the phone number (which is PII)

Why should the phone number, which is just an identifier associated with the SIM, be PII but not the IMEI, which is a similar identifier associated with the phone?

A|nd I think you are probably wrong about shops not having records of purchasers versus TVunits serial numbers.

My newish TV was stolen recently, police asked if I had the serial number. I (foolishly) didn't, so I contacted the shop. No records, unless perhaps the TV had been in for repair, which it hadn't. The number is printed on the labels on the TV & the box, but not stored in any of the documentation relating to the sale. Other countries/shops may be different, of course.

Tip: when you buy something valuable, take a photo of the label with the serial number & email it to yourself.

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Joke

Re: Does IMEI count as personally identifiable info?

"My newish TV was stolen recently"

I'm still waiting for someone to steal the CRT TV in our open garage. Then I'll finally have an excuse to get a new TV for movie night.

Maybe I should buy one of those apple logo sticker and tape it to the sides. That might make the TV more attractive to the thief.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Does IMEI count as personally identifiable info?

Tip: when you buy something valuable, take a photo of the label with the serial number & email it to yourself.

Tip: don't give tips about emailing photos to yourself on a place where sysadmins and netadmins might hear you, lest you are begging for an unfortunate workplace accident...

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Paris Hilton

Re: myself on self-emailing photos

As a sidenote I recently had to ask a PFY for a contact list (off-work event). The guy trawled his phone's directory, took (very badly) handwritten note of the 3 phone numbers, shot two (very blurry) snaps of the piece of paper and sent them to me by email. I was (figuratively) fuming.

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And I'm still here...

... waiting for El Reg to review the new Android "Nokias" before I give up and plunge into the Android ecosystem.

Is stock Android more or less slurpy than a vendor-backed version?

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Silver badge

Re: And I'm still here...

Oh stop worrying. Unless you live in old soviet East Germany and are trying to start a revolution theres not much to worry about. Please explain why I should be worried my phone manufacturer can link the details of the phone it made to my phone number and network?

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Flame

Re: And I'm still here...

"why I should be worried my phone manufacturer can link the details of the phone it made to my phone number and network".

Because it's non of their business.

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Silver badge

Re: And I'm still here...

... waiting for El Reg to review the new Android "Nokias" before I give up and plunge into the Android ecosystem. Is stock Android more or less slurpy than a vendor-backed version?

Seems to me if you want privacy, it is better to buy one of the old pre-Lumia Nokias...

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Re: And I'm still here...

"Please explain why I should be worried my phone manufacturer can link the details of the phone it made to my phone number and network?"

It's because sometimes you might not want other people to know that you've play candy crush for a total of 748hours and 163hours while in the office washroom without your consent.

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Re: And I'm still here...

Seems to me if you want privacy, it is better to buy one of the old pre-Lumia Nokias...

Nah, you want something like my old trusty:

http://www.itholix.com/products/1476-samsung-gt-e1150-mobile-phone-gsm-flip.aspx

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Anonymous Coward

Why does anyone think mobiles are secure?

Aren't they only just slightly better than Internet of Things devices?

Why does anyone trust them when there are hundreds of millions of them that haven't been patched against threats that have literally been around for years?

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aqk
Big Brother

I'm not worried! I live in CANADA!

And I have a trustworthy Huawei phone! They would never do this!

Why, just read the following reassuring article from a few years ago!

CBC now alerts you to the following GRAVE CANADIAN CONCERNS!

But I AM wondering where I can quickly sell my small supply of Plutonium and my bump-stocked AK-47...

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id like to see what similar tests done on google phone, iphone, and samsung would reveal

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