India’s Air Force grounds smartphones by Xiaomi

India’s Air Force grounds smartphones by Xiaomi
Highlights

Stressing that it does not collect any user data without permission, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi said on Sunday it will engage with Indian authorities to address the concerns about security of user data.

Xiaomi says it will speak to the Indian Air Force authorities and address their concerns

Stressing that it does not collect any user data without permission, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi said on Sunday it will engage with Indian authorities to address the concerns about security of user data.

Last week, in an advisory, the Indian Air Force asked its personnel and their families to desist from using 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 authorities and engage with them to address any concerns that they might have," Xiaomi Vice President Hugo Barra told PTI.

Earlier this year, security solutions provider F-Secure had, in a report, demonstrated how a Xiaomi Redmi 1S phone was sending data, including the user's IMEI, phone number, and phone numbers of contacts added to the phone book to a remote server.

Xiaomi phones

Based on the report and inputs from Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), the IAF note was prepared.

Barra said the company collect data only with the user's permission to offer 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 added.

He said the company has already started migrating data of its international users (non-Chinese) to data centres in the US and Singapore.

"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, Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan," he added.

Xiaomi entered the Indian market in July this year with its Xiaomi Mi 3 smartphone priced at Rs. 13,999 through e-Commerce major Flipkart. It currently has another device Xiaomi Redmi 1S in the country. It is estimated that the firm has sold about half a million Redmi 1S devices and 1.2 lakh Mi 3 handsets.

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