A recent Twitter post by user Rishi Bagree has sparked concerns regarding Realme’s data collection practices. Bagree claimed that Realme’s smartphones capture users’ personal data, including call logs, location information, and SMS through the default-enabled Enhanced Intelligent Services feature. This revelation has raised questions about user consent and data privacy.
In the tweet, Bagree highlighted that Realme’s Enhanced Intelligent Services feature remains active by default and can be found in the Settings menu under Additional Settings -> System Services -> Enhanced Intelligent Services. The user suggested that Indian users may be unaware that their data is being shared without explicit consent, leading to what they called “forced consent.”
The tweet gained significant attention and prompted responses from other users. One user, Kiran Karukonda, expressed surprise at the lack of security features and compliance audits. Another user, Nirguna Sanjay Prakash Sahoo, recommended establishing a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for mobile phone manufacturers to ensure regulatory compliance. CA Jitesh Agrawal pointed out a similar feature in OnePlus smartphones, emphasising the potential privacy breach without user consent.
The concerns raised by Bagree caught the attention of Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the MeitY, who responded, “Will have this tested and checked.” Chandrasekhar’s prompt acknowledgement indicates the government’s commitment to addressing data privacy concerns and safeguarding user interests.
In an era where data privacy is paramount, users expect transparency and control over their personal information. Manufacturers must provide clear disclosures and prioritise user privacy in default settings. The allegations against Realme underscore the need for stringent data protection practices and user-centric privacy features.
As the situation unfolds, it remains to be seen how Realme will address these allegations and whether any corrective measures will be taken. The Minister of State for IT’s response signifies the government’s proactive stance in ensuring data privacy and upholding data protection standards.
Realme's smartphone has a feature (Enhanced Intelligent Services) that captures the user's data (call logs, SMS, and location info) and it is "On" by default.— Rishi Bagree (@rishibagree) June 16, 2023
You can only see this "on" by default feature when you go to Settings -> Additional Settings -> System Services ->… pic.twitter.com/QS3f6wMF3R
It is important to note that the allegations made on Twitter require further verification and investigation. The authenticity of the claims made by the user should be carefully assessed. The impact on user privacy and the actions taken by Realme and the government will be closely monitored as the story develops.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the platform’s views. The article is based on publicly available information on social media and does not imply endorsement or confirmation of the claims made by users.