Xiaomi phones have been in controversy for a while now. Quite a few websites accused Xiaomi phones to be sending sensitive data from your phone to an unknown servers located in China. This could be a huge threat and mass privacy invasion. It was initially reported in a few News paper articles and wasn’t confirmed at the time since they didn’t have reliable source or expertise to test it. Here is are some links to the articles in the news papers – Link 1 , link 2, link 3.
Recently the folks at F-Secure decided to test it out (sad I can’t get my hands on the phone due to huge demand in India). According to test reports, Xiaomi phones send quite a lot of personal and sensitive data to the anonymous servers and we have no idea what is done with them.
List of data *forwarded* by Xiaomi Phones
- IMEI Number of your phone
- IMSI Number (through MI Cloud)
- Your contacts and their details
- Text Messages
Note that these data is not stored for your safety, these information is *forwarded* without your prior consent or permission. There are a few pre-installed apps that helps pull this off. These tests were done on Xiaomi RedMI 1S. However, all of their phones seem to behaving in the same manner. All the data is sent to api.account.xiaomi.com.
China has been known for its Digital Spying and privacy invasion. Ofcourse we are the small pawns in the race and we would most likely never know what actually happened behind the curtains, but this is a serious issue.
I personally know a lot of people who’ve been trying to buy this phone from Flipkart and always end up complaining that thousands of phone units are sold in matter of seconds. I would advise you to stay away and don’t fall for the cheap stuff. Always understand that if you’re getting something for dirt cheap, you are compromising on other aspects.
Since we’re still new to Xiaomi phones, I would love to have your input to see if we can gather some more information on it.