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Xiaomi Setting Up Customer Data Centre In India To Address Concerns

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The security memo released by Indian Air Force warning their officers against using Xiaomi phones seems to have ruffled a few feathers. According to reports coming in, Xiaomi will be setting up a separate data centre in India in 2015 specifically for Indian Mi phone users. The announcement, which was made on Monday by Xiaomi, is a clearly in response to the IAF warnings that has been all over the media past few days.

Xiaomi’s Global VP, Hugo Barra had previously (on 22nd October) stated that they are moving their user data servers out of China and now in an update which went live earlier today (27th October), he has mentioned that Xiaomi will have servers in India in 2015.

Hugo Barra post

Here is excerpt from his FB post.

>> 4. We are moving our Indian users’ data to servers outside of China, and to India in 2015

Since early 2014, we have been migrating our services and corresponding data for Indian users from our Beijing data centers to Amazon AWS data centers in Singapore and USA. Parts of this migration will be completed by the end of October, and all of it will be completed by the end of 2014. In 2015, we plan to launch a local data center in India to serve the needs of (and store data for) our Indian users.

These efforts help significantly improve the performance of our services and also provide some peace of mind for users in India, ensuring that we treat their data with utmost care and the highest privacy standards.

So, even as of end of October 2014, the user data will be residing on Singapore servers, and not in China. More importantly, when local Indian data center comes in, the Mi Phone users (Redmi 1s, Mi 3) will have their data stored in India.

What’s the real story? Should you worry about security on Mi phones?

I have been following Xiaomi as a company far before they launched in India. When they picked up Hugo Barra from Google, it was clear that Xiaomi wants to dominate global smartphone market. It is my personal view that when F-Secure report showed data compromise on Redmi Phone, the user data was definitely being stored on their servers (without user permission). However, I think that Xiaomi had no ulterior motive, neither did they do it on Chinese’s government’s behest. Their fault was that they did not ask for permission for user, neither did they give an option.

However, once the news came out, Xiaomi immediately rectified the matter. IAF’s warning came in much after the issue was rectified. But being a Government body, they obviously had to go through hoops before the warning was made public.

If you have security concerns using Xiaomi phones – I think you should put them to rest. And now, with Xiaomi saying that they have moved the data to Singapore (and next year to India), one should have not have any such security concerns!

What do you think?

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