Xiaomi, the top smart phone producer on the Chinese market had to apologize to its clients after the unveiling of the fact that the company was actually gathering information on the users of a service similar to iMessage. The company also had to do some very important changes in order to provide its clients a security plus.
Last week the security company called F-Secure accused Xiaomi of gathering data on its clients by means of the Cloud Messaging platform belonging to the company. F-Secure said that the Chinese electronics company was collecting information such as users’ telephone numbers and other date used for identification. The platform sends the text messages via Xiaomi servers and not by means of the carrier networks. In this way the users can send the messages free of charge. The entire system is very similar to iMessages belonging to Apple. In a Google+ post, the vice-president of the company Hugo Barra said that the company did not save the information on its users. Therefore, they took the decision to turn the platform into an opt-in one so as to put an end to privacy concerns. He also admitted that the services used SIM and other identification data in order to route the messages. However, he denied all accusation of Xiaomi storing person user information on its own servers.
The over-the-air upgrade of the Cloud Messaging service belonging to the Chinese manufacturer started to function on the 10th of August 2014. The upgrade offers Xiaomi customers to opt in for the messaging service. It also gives them a security plus as all the phone numbers are encrypted once the Xiaomi phone possessors use the Cloud Messaging servers.
This is the first privacy issues that Xiaomi has to face. The Chinese company had excellent selling results not only in China but also on some other major markets. In China, Xiaomi has managed to be the number one smart phone seller topping the much more experienced Samsung. Xiaomi has not arrived yet on the US territory.
MIUI OS belonging to Xiaomi functions on top of Android produced by Google. The system incorporates various Xiaomi services. The Cloud Messaging is one of them. Barra did not say anything about major changes brought to the messaging system. However, he apologized to Mi users.
F-Secure has been contacted in order to give its opinion in the upgrade. For the time being there has been no reply from the company.