Impact of IAF Warning On Security of Xiaomi Phones in India

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October 26, 2014 by ...

Below this post I link to a quick article on the impact of the Indian Air Force ban on Xiaomi phones.

The background is that the Indian Air Force has told their soldiers and families that Xiaomi gear is unsecure. This was prompted by repeated reports of Xiaomi phones covertly sending user data to servers in Beijing. The security breach, however had sent up red flags in many other countries aside from India. From Singapore to Vietnam, people were warned against using Xiaomi kit.

In an attempt at derailing the bad press, Xiaomi hired a local Chinese spin doctor to help with marketing and damage control. They also said they would be moving the data of foreign customers to servers housed in Singapore and the USA. Lei Jun’s hope is that Xiaomi clients would rest at ease of they knew their data was ‘safe’ and in good hands on the Amazon cloud, where it would be stored.

What Xiaomi fails to realize is how the problem is not necessarily where the data is stored but why it was taken in the first place. As long as Xiaomi owns the data, they can take a peek at it when they wish. Server location has little to nothing to do with this. The principal concerns of those involved is why their data was taken in the first place and Xiaomi’s lackadaisical attitude afterwards. Appropriate measures at respecting user privacy would have been a much better way to contain fallout than simply moving servers. Absent commitment on Xiaomi’s part to prove they respect user privacy, moving data storage locations merely seems like a ruse.

Here is link to an article opining on how the Xiaomi fallout may impact sales in India.


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