Chinese phone makers Xiaomi has been accused of recording its users ‘private’ web and phone usage data, Forbes.com alleged in its recently published article. The report quotes a seasoned cybersecurity researcher Gabi Cirlig saying, “It’s a backdoor with phone functionality” about his new Redmi Note 8 phone.
Cirlig found that most of his movement was being tracked, whilst different kinds of device data were also being stored.
The default browser was recording all the websites he visited even when he was on incognito mode. Also, the device was recording which folders he opened and which screens he swiped.
This left Cirlig spooked as his identity and private life was being snooped on by the Chinese company.
Forbes requested another cybersecurity researcher Andrew Tierney to investigate the allegations, which he found were true. The browsers shipped by Xiaomi on Google Play — Mi Browser Pro and the Mint Browser – were indeed collecting the same data.
Meanwhile, Xiaomi in a statement issued on May 2 said that it was disappointed to read the article published by Forbes.
The statement further read: “We feel they have misunderstood what we communicated regarding our data privacy principles and policy. Our user’s privacy and internet security is of top priority at Xiaomi; we are confident that we strictly follow and are fully compliant with local laws and regulations. We have reached out to Forbes to offer clarity on this unfortunate misinterpretation”.
These allegations could seriously affect the Chinese phone makers’ consumer market. Xiaomi is one of the top four smartphone makers in the world by market share, behind Apple, Samsung, and Huawei.