Tech News Desk – Chinese companies like Xiaomi, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme keep spyware i.e. spying apps in their smartphones. This information has been revealed in a research report by Edinburgh University and Trinity College Dublin. According to the report, many Chinese Android smartphone companies keep spyware pre-installed on their devices. The names of Chinese brands OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo and Realme have come up in the study. These brands collect and transmit personal information of smartphone users without their permission.
theft of personal data
China is currently the world’s largest smartphone market with 70 percent of Android smartphone users. According to the research study, smartphones of these brands have many system and vendor apps installed by default, which are given many permissions of the device. These apps collect information about the activities users perform on the smartphone, including device information, location, user profile, social relationships, etc.
Research has found that Chinese smartphone companies keep stealing personal data of users without their knowledge by spyware apps pre-installed in their smartphones. According to the study, users who are concerned about privacy and do not give permission for analytics and cloud storage etc. Also, these apps steal device identity, GPS co-ordinates, app usage patterns, call and message history, and contact numbers, etc. Even from their smartphones that don’t use any third-party service. Users do not have any option to opt-out of these apps. These stolen data can be used for tracking.
Buying a smartphone in China is dangerous
The devices used in this research are primarily sold in China and run on the local Android distribution. In such a situation, Android users of other countries will not be affected by this. However, tourists, students and business travelers buying Android smartphones in China are at risk. They need to be careful that after buying Android smartphones from Chinese companies, none of their information will remain private. They can be spied on using their personal data.
Usually, more apps are installed in the smartphones of Chinese companies sold in other markets than before. The number of pre-installed apps in China is huge. Although users can manage permissions, due to international regulation and policy in Europe or other regions, devices purchased from China can be easily spied on.