There was several reports claiming that the ‘Chinese’ company – Xiaomi’s devices are secretly sending user data to a server in China without the user’s permission. According to an article appeared on ocworkbench forum, Xiaomi devices especially Xiaomi RedMi Note smartphone is sending pictures, personal data and messages to the Chinese servers.
Mobile testers have found that RedMi Note is frequently connecting to an IP address in China and transferring data back to the server when operating in Wi-Fi mode and when on 3G, it is just a handshake (low data transmission). What surprises the tester is that even when the device is rooted and flashed with another firmware, the background transmission continues. It seems that the process is hard-coded into the phone.
So is the Chinese company secretly spying on its users? Well the company has come forwarded to clear the doubts regarding the privacy issue. Xiaomi on its official Indian Facebook page and through Hugo Barra on Google + has tried to explain why this happens.
MIUI requests public data from Xiaomi servers from time to time. These include data such as preset greeting messages (thousands of jokes, holiday greetings and poems) in the Messaging app and MIUI OTA update notifications, i.e. all non-personal data that does not infringe on user privacy.
Does Xiaomi upload any personal data without users knowledge?
No. Xiaomi offers a service called Mi Cloud that enables users to back up and manage personal information in the cloud, as well as sync to other devices. This includes contacts, notes, text messages and photos. Mi Cloud is turned off by default. Users must log in with their Mi accounts and manually turn on Mi Cloud. They also have the option to only turn on backup for certain types of data. The use and storage of data in Mi Cloud fully respects the local laws of each country and region. Strict encryption algorithms are implemented to protect user privacy.
Why should one believe Xiaomi?
Convinced? or still doubts Xiaomi’s real intention. Let us know.