Xiaomi denying collecting user data: Everything you need to know
A White Ops security researcher, Gabi Cirlig, had accused Xiaomi to be collecting and leaking the user’s data to remote servers. Amongst the preloaded apps, the default Web browser on all Xiaomi smartphone was found recording Web history of users even when switched to “incognito” mode.
“We feel they have misunderstood what we communicated regarding our data privacy principles and policy.”. Xiaomi India Managing Director Manu Kumar Jain also posted a video and a note stating that the details showing the Mi Browser collecting unnecessary information.
Also saying the accusations while browsing and sending the user data to other countries “is incorrect and not true.”
The Allegations on Xiaomi
This data collection seemingly occurs on the pre-installed stock browser on MIUI, Mi Browser Pro and Mint Browser, all of which can be downloaded via Google Play Store. Together, these browsers have over 15 million downloads on the Play Store. While the stock browser is preloaded on all Xiaomi devices and is also set as the default browser.
As such, this issue does not appear to be MIUI-centric but depends on whether you use any of these three browsers on your device. Irrespective of the underlying OS. Although the browsers, like Google Chrome and Apple Safari, collect data, restricting themselves to usage and crash analytics.
The researchers, however, found this claim of anonymity to be dubious. The data that Xiaomi was sending was admittedly “encrypted”, but it was encoded in base64, which can easily be decoded. Since the browsing data can be decoded in a rather trivial manner, and since the collected data also contained device metadata. This browsing data could seemingly be correlated to the actions by individual users without significant effort.
Xiaomi denying all the allegations, by the above-mentioned researchers of the data collection. Amidst we were able to see a software update targeted only towards updating their browser. Xiaomi’s reaction to this make them look evil in this picture.
Privacy has always been a major concern with Xiaomi’s smartphone. Which also is the reason these smartphones are strictly banned for High ranked personnel. We also recommend users to properly read the terms and condition while agreeing to share the data.