Xiaomi admits cellphone user data sent to Beijing
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-08-11 02:05 PM
Beijing Xiaomi Technology Company has admitted that its handsets have transmitted user account information to Beijing without first obtaining the consent of the user. Xiaomi has said that this problem, which included information on Xiaomi cellphone users in Taiwan, has been solved through system upgrades, but some Xiaomi users are complaining that they have had problems with service following the upgrade.

Taiwan Xiaomi’s official Facebook website issued a statement Sunday confirming that its cellphones indeed have a built-in system called the Network Newsletter service which is automatically triggered without the consent of the user. The feature, which is part of the company’s widely-touted IMUI cloud messaging service, forwards the user's phone number, IMSI (international Mobile Subscriber Identity) and IMEI (international Mobile Equipment Identity) number via the server to Xiaomi headquarters in Beijing. Many users take advantage of the cloud messaging service to avoid having to pay fees for texting.

In addition, Xiaomi also confirmed that there is no encryption is involved in uploading user phone numbers through the Network SMS Service. This means that network managers can easily use monitoring tools to steal users’ phone numbers and other information.

Xiaomi announced yesterday that it is using OTA (automatic network download technology) to upgrade users’ software packages to turn off the automatic start-up function of the Network Newsletter. With the upgrade, users can choose whether or not they want to activate this service.

Xiaomi further explained that it is also adding encryption to its Internet functions involving the newsletter in identifying users’ phone numbers to provide users with additional security.

Many Xiaomi 2S users have complained that after their cellphones were upgraded by Xiaomi their browser did not work. Some users said out that they lost some of the functions of social networking software like Line after the Xiaomi upgrade, with a number saying that the more Xiaomi tries to fix things, the worse the problem becomes.

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