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Xiaomi tracks user activity on its smartphones

The Chinese giant Xiaomi has an excellent telephone fleet that guarantees a wildfire spread thanks to the low prices. However, this also has cons.

Xiaomi has always produced and sold smartphones since excellent quality / price ratio, mostly entry level for those who do not want or cannot sell to Apple, Samsung, Huawei or other more expensive phones. This, however, is often not synonymous with safety and the latest report from Forbes would confirm it: Xiaomi sends user data to Alibaba.

Hidden tracking, but no privacy issues?

The study of Forbes states that the user searches on the default browser of Xiaomi devices are recorded and sent to third parties. Even in private mode, any data relating to websites visited, open folders and settings given to the browser is collected and sent to third parties. As if that wasn’t enough, Xiaomi would even identify the device with unique numbers.

This, however, according to Xiaomi, does not damage the user’s privacy. The company responded by confirming that the data is encrypted during the transfer. Too bad that, according to the report Forbes, the encryption is in base64 and it can be decoded too easily. Nevertheless. the Chinese manufacturer believes that it respects users’ privacy and security in a lawful manner. A spokesman also claimed that the information collected would be anonymous and disconnected from personal identity.

Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro

The company press release

With an official press release sent to Forbes, Xiaomi said she was “disappointed” by the article published by the American magazine. For this reason the company, in light of a possible misunderstanding between the two parties and an incorrect collection of data, would have contacted the editorial staff of Forbes.

We know that the tension between China and the USA, especially now because of COVID-19, it is increasing. But it is also known that many companies, whether Chinese or American, tend to remain vague on the collection of user data. We will see in the coming days what Xiaomi will say about it and if it will take measures of some kind.

UPDATE 2 May 2020, 12:30: Xiaomi, with a post on the official blog, today responded by also publishing the source code of interest, together with the list of ISO certificates that the company has obtained in the field of privacy and security. The press release can be consulted in full here.

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