Information such as device manufacturer, its model, CyanogenMod version, IMIE number, country, network provider, MAC address was being sent to CyanogenMod developers but, users had the ability to opt-out of this. But, a recent change disabled the opt-out feature in the upcoming CyanogenMod 10.1.
The reason for collecting the statistics was that the CyanogenMod project wasn’t able to determine the exact number of users of the software and according to project leader Steve “cyanogen” Kondik, this ‘is painful.’ Following this Kondik decided to “remove the opt-out and always turn stats on”. Cyanogen insisted that the data is going to be anonymized such that ‘nothing evil’ can be performed by using the data and that it will only be used to measure the success of the project and software. Patches were developed by Koushik Dutta allowing the project to analyze the collected data using Google Analytics.
Both these updates didn’t go down well with the users and a wave of disapprovals followed. Kondik tried addressing the concerns by stating that such statistics were essential for a software development to progress in a well-planned manner. He insisted that those who are not willing to have this feature removed may pick up the CyanogenMod code and compile it themselves without the recent changes that he had implemented. Dutta, supporting the removal of opt-out, argued that even Google was collecting similar kind of information through Android. Both the arguments were seemingly not able to convince the user base as they are probably using CyanogenMod to avoid such information gathering anyways.
A recent code commit indicates that the changes have been reversed by Kondik. Kondik notes, “Apparently this is a bigger issue for a small number of extremely vocal users. We should respect their wishes, no matter how off-base their claims are in this context.”