Realme is facing a probe into its data collection practices, after a setting on the company’s smartphones was recently highlighted during a product review. The description of the feature on the handset states that it will collect device and usage statistics, along with personal information such as calendar events, SMS and call logs, and the smartphone’s location. After a screenshot of the feature was shared on Twitter, the Centre announced that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) will test and check the claims made by the user.
A settings option call Enhanced Intelligent Services was spotted by YouTube channel Trakin Tech during a video review of the recently launched Realme 11 Pro+ 5G smartphone. Twitter user Rishi Bagree shared a screenshot of the video on Twitter on Friday, reiterating the claims made in the video that the feature collected call logs, SMS, and location details.
Shortly after the Enhanced Intelligent Services feature on Realme smartphones was highlighted on Twitter, Minister of State for Information Technology and Electronics Rajeev Chandrasekhar quote tweeted the user’s post and stated that MeitY would have it tested and checked.
Realme, like other smartphone manufacturers, collects data from its users to provide various services and features. The Chinese smartphone manufacturer’s description of the feature in the Settings app says that the feature optimises device functions based on how the device is used.
This feature is enabled by default, which means that in order for users to discover the setting, they will need to navigate to Settings > Additional Settings > System Services > Enhanced Intelligent Services. Gadgets 360 was able to confirm that the Enhanced Intelligent Services was enabled by default on Realme smartphones running on Realme UI 4.0.
The smartphone maker stated on Monday that the Enhanced Intelligent Services feature does not collect data on SMS, phone calls, and calendar data. The company also said that the data is encrypted and processed on the user’s device. Realme also said that the firm complies with local laws and regulations.
“Specific to the issue raised, we would like to clarify that the enhanced intelligent services feature is linked to optimising device usage to ensure that consumers get better battery life and temperature performance. However, contrary to the current description, we do not collect any data on SMS, phone calls, schedules, etc.
All data processed in this service is encrypted and stored in encrypted hardware within user’s device strictly in compliance with Android security mechanisms. This data is completely stored within the device and is not shared anywhere else or uploaded on the cloud. We place great emphasis on user privacy protection, the enhanced intelligent services feature can be manually turned on or off basis the needs of the consumers.”