Secrecy issues with Xiaomi phones- ‘People are threatened by sending private data to Chinese Servers

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Xiaomi has been hitting the news for its exciting features in the flagship devices and availing them in an extensive price range, but the data secrecy issues revolving around the company has irked the media. Some of the Chinese telecom equipment suppliers were blistered of creating suspected backdoor in the electronic products. This is why, the USA has banned purchasing Chinese products and computer technology for the government and large organizations including NASA, Commerce and Justice Departments. The commercially evolving electronic gadget manufacturing company, Xiaomi is accused of stealing private data, user’s information and sending to the China server without seeking user’s permission. Your message inbox, photos are not safe anymore with the MI cloud service.

An antivirus firm called F-secure has shown that the Xiaomi phones are sending sensitive user’s personal data to ‘api.account.xiaomi.com’. This server is located in China and the data sent from MI and Redmi handsets are contact details, messages, IMSI & IMEI number.

This is the new China brand entering into Indian market successfully this month. With the flash sale of Mi3 devices and the new launch of Redmi 1s and Redmi Note is dragging attention of Indian market. All the handsets are affordable and built with excellent features. But with the latest news about the issues, it seems that the Smartphones are doing something more than what’s shown in advertisements. Kenny Li from the Hong Kong forum, IMA Mobile observed the odd things with Redmi Note. According to him, Redmi Note continues to make connections with server in China after switching off the Cloud service. This transmission happens when Wi-Fi is enabled and stays in contact at the time of using cellular data. Li stated that, even after erasing Android version and installing a new one, problem is same.

Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple and some big companies are accused by China for surveillance over other countries. But, China is doing the same.

Xiaomi has quite a reputation as the Apple of China. But, with allegations over Redmi Note for the secrecy issues, the company is yet to clarify things. If rumor is true, it is not the first time for companies to spy on users. China is always known for Digital Spying and privacy invasion. Another Android Smartphone from China (Star N9500) is found by German Security Firm pre-installed with ‘Trojan’ that can spy user’s private data and any conversation without the user’s knowledge and restriction. The breach available in this phone can allow a user to record phone calls, read mail, and text messages automatically. It can also remotely control the microphone and camera of the following phone. Trojan turns the phone into a bugging device which allows hackers hear your conversation near the phone. Online banking service is not secure anymore with the phones. These phone might be used for theft.

According to Company’s Vice President Hugo Barra these are the false allegations made by security experts like F-secure.

MIUI does not secretly upload photos and text messages. 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.” he said.

The Cloud service in Mi makes it able to back up user’s personal information  and it can also sync details with other devices. Hugo Barra announced that the users can Turn OFF the Mi Cloud Service anytime manually from the settings available in Mi devices.

We have scheduled an OTA system update for today (Aug 10th) to implement this change. After the upgrade, new users or users who factory reset their devices can enable the service by visiting “Settings > Mi Cloud > Cloud Messaging” from their home screen or “Settings > Cloud Messaging” inside the Messaging app — these are also the places where users can turn off Cloud Messaging.” he added.

 

 

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