China's Xiaomi to take up its phones' security issue

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New Delhi, Oct 27: Commenting on an Indian Air Force (IAF) advisory to its personnel against using Chinese 'Xiaomi Redmi 1s' phones, the smartphone maker has said it would ask the Indian authorities to address the issue about security of users' data.

Earlier, the IAF asked its personnel and their families to stop using the Chinese 'Xiaomi Redmi 1s' phones as these are believed to be transferring data to their servers in China and could be a security risk.

"We are trying to get to the bottom of this. So far, we have not heard anything from the IAF or any other authorities and have only read media reports. We will reach out to the authorities and engage with them to address the issue," Xiaomi vice president Hugo Barra said.

Earlier this year, a Finnish digital security firm F-Secure, demonstrated through tests how Redmi 1S phones were sending the service provider's name, the phone's IMEI and number to a server in China.

In a post on the firm's official Facebook page last week titled "We're moving your data", Barra said Xiaomi had begun moving data of non-Chinese users to servers in the US and Singapore. It said future plans include transfer of data of the Indian users to servers within India.

The decision to migrate data, however, is unrelated to the recent IAF advisory.

"The migration process, which began earlier this year, will be completed by the end of October and will benefit users in international markets, including our customers in India, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan," Barra said.

Stressing that it does not collect any user data without permission, Barra said the company collected data only after users' permission to get specific services like cloud.

"We don't have a revolutionary product. Like many other messaging services, we also offer messaging, backup, cloud services to our customers. We also have the highest standards of encryption to ensure that users' data is safe," he said.

Xiaomi entered the Indian market in July 2014 with its Mi3 smartphone priced at Rs.13,999 through e-commerce firm Flipkart. It currently has the Redmi 1S device in the country and is estimated to have sold about half a million Redmi devices and 120,000 Mi3 handsets.

IANS

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