OnePlus 6T, OnePlus 6's Tencent-Powered Cleanup Feature Creates Controversy for Sending Data Overseas

The Cleanup feature sends data to Tencent’s server in Singapore.

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Highlights
  • OnePlus 6, OnePlus 6T received the new open beta update this week
  • The update added a file cleanup feature similar to Google’s Files Go
  • The feature is limited to India right now

The new Cleanup feature is a part of OnePlus' File Manager app

Photo Credit: OnePlus Forum/ Lavin A.

OnePlus is facing consumer backlash over a new feature introduced with the latest open beta software for OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T smartphones. The company has added an Intelligent Cleanup feature to help free up storage on the phones in the pre-installed File Manager app using a tool from Tencent. The feature is similar to what Google's Files Go app offers. As per posts on OnePlus official forum and Reddit, the OnePlus users are concerned over sharing with their data with Tencent as well as unnecessary bloat this feature brings to the phone when the company itself claims to be against bloatware.

To recall, OnePlus added the Intelligent Cleanup feature for File Manager app in the OxygenOS Open Beta 17 for the OnePlus 6 and in OxygenOS Open Beta 9 for OnePlus 6T smartphone users in India. The feature, which is listed as Clean in the app and had been mentioned by the company in the official changelog for the update, uses a tool developed by Tencent and OnePlus to function. A consumer on the company's official forum writes that updated privacy for File Manager clearly mentions that relevant data is sent to Tencent's Singapore server.

While some of the information sent to Tencent server is innocuous like Android version, language, region, and hardware model, it is the other information like application caching details and app usage details that is more sensitive and is being found problematic by the consumers. A similar thread is up on Reddit.

The OnePlus users are also baffled by the company's decision to add unnecessary bloat to its smartphones, when the company boasts of being against bloatware, as it recently highlighted proudly in pre-launch newspaper advertisements for OnePlus 7 Pro.

As mentioned in the official changelog, the feature is currently limited to India. There is no word on whether OnePlus is planning to expand it to other markets in the future.

We have reached out to OnePlus to get more clarity on the matter and whether the company is planning to ditch the tool in a future version of OxygenOS.


Has OnePlus 6T removed the best features of the OnePlus 6? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

 
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