Realme is potentially in hot water as the Indian government is prompted to investigate a report about the manufacturer stealing user data through a certain enabled feature in its devices.
Bringing the attention of Realme secretly taking user information to the public is a Twitter user Rishi Bagree (@rishibagree) who claimed a particular feature called Enhanced Intelligent Services said to be gathering device information, including personal data such as SMS, call log, location, etc.
Per the tweet, Enhanced Intelligent Services is mentioned to be turned “‘On’ by default,” which can be viewed by going to “Settings > Additional Settings > System Services > Enhanced Intelligent.”
Bagree went on to relate the situation as akin to keeping the users “in the dark” by sharing their data without consent, while also equating it to “forced consent”.
The Twitter user ended the post with the question asking, “Is this data being sent to China?” Inescapably, the tweet has caught the attention of the Minister of State for Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who guaranteed a thorough investigation on the matter.
Drawing from the report, News18 put the notion to the test by using a Realme C55 smartphone and see if the feature is there—unsurprisingly, there is, with said functionality indeed being enabled by default.
When spoken to by the News18 team concerning the issue, Realme India clarified that the Enhanced Intelligent Services feature serves as an optimization in ensuring that the users are getting the better temperature and battery life performance. The phone maker also denies allegations regarding the collection of data.
We checked the recently launched realme C53 and didn’t find the information mentioned by the report, so units in the Philippines probably aren’t affected.