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Xiaomi Clarifies: MIUI Does Not Secretly Upload Photos And Text Messages

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Yesterday we wrote about proof that showed Xiaomi phones are secretly sending personal data to Chinese Government. This news spread through online and social media like wildfire.

Millions of Xiaomi users world-wide have obviously been worried about their personal data being compromised. Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra posted a clarification on their Indian Facebook page as well as on his account clearly stating that MIUI (OS on Xiaomi phones) does not secretly upload photos and text messages.

Giving further details on this Hugo said, “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”

In short, no personal data is sent from your phone to any external servers. However, if Mi Cloud (Xiaomi’s cloud offering) is enabled, it will back up personal data on Xiaomi cloud servers. This will include personal contacts, notes, text messages and photos. so, if Mi Cloud is disabled, then no personal data will be transferred from your phone.

Hugo Barra in his note also pointed out that “Xiaomi is serious about user privacy and takes all possible steps to ensure our Internet services adhere to our privacy policy. In a globalized economy, Chinese manufacturers’ handsets are selling well internationally, and many international brands are similarly successful in China – any unlawful activity would be greatly detrimental to a company’s global expansion efforts.

However, the Hong Kong user that came out with this revelation had pointed out that he was not using Mi cloud services and the IP address to which the data was going was of CNNIC, a company that is operated by Chinese Government. In reply to one of user comments, Hugo Barra said that IP address belongs to Forest Eternal which is owned by China Unicom, the company where Xiaomi hosts its servers. Here is the complete snapshot of the response.

Hugo Barra response

What Do We Think?

From whatever we have read, we think Xiaomi is in the clear here. Infact, they just cannot afford to do something like this, as sooner or later these kind of things come out. If this was real, it would severely jeopardize their business, which they cannot afford to do!

What do you think?

  1. […] due to reports that Xiaomi phones are secretly sending personal data to Chinese Government. Xiaomi had issued a clarification over the reports that user privacy is extremely important to them and their phones in no way send […]

  2. Raghav says

    More info from a security lab – http://www.f-secure.com/weblog/archives/00002731.html

  3. Raza says

    I feel Xiaomi is not giving importance to privacy.

  4. […] However, Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra immediately posted a clarification on their Indian Facebook page as well as on his account clearly stating that MIUI (OS on Xiaomi phones) does not secretly upload photos and text messages. […]

  5. Subham Bapna says

    I don’t think so Hugo Barra made a complete clarification! You can have a look, He repeatedly is saying that the MiCloud sends data to Chinese servers but it doesn’t sends when the MiCloud is turned off, but the reports clearly say that it was connected to the Chinese servers when MiCloud was on, and it was sending images! People or other bloggers wouldn’t have posted unless they would have got some serious report! :P

  6. Ashish says

    Nice friend. I love to read your blog Thumbs up for your fast posting. Hope so Xiaomi is not doing activities which are against public policies.

  7. […] Xiaomi Clarifies: MIUI Does Not Secretly Upload Photos And Text Messages […]

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