Realme, a smartphone brand, is currently facing a probe into claims of data collection for its “Enhanced Intelligent Services” feature on smartphones. The controversy began when a Twitter user named Rishi Bagree raised concerns about Realme phones capturing users’ personal data such as call logs, SMS, and location information. The feature in question is reportedly turned on by default on Realme devices. Users have expressed alarm over the potential intrusion of privacy and the lack of explicit consent for data collection.
The Indian government has taken notice of the issue, and India’s junior IT Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar has announced that the government will investigate whether Realme smartphones are collecting and sending users’ personal data back to China. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) will conduct tests to verify the claims made by users .
It is worth noting that this controversy extends beyond Realme, as Oppo and its subsidiary OnePlus are also under scrutiny for similar data collection practices. While data collection mechanisms are common in smartphones and apps, Realme’s default enabling of the “Enhanced Intelligent Services” feature without clear user consent has raised concerns. The government probe aims to determine the extent of data collection and whether users’ privacy has been compromised.