• CONTEST ALERT - Experience the power of DDR5 memory with Kingston Click for details

Warning Over Chinese Mobile Giant Xiaomi Recording Millions Of People’s ‘Private’ Web And Phone Use

vidhubhushan

Alakh Niranjan
Warning Over Chinese Mobile Giant Xiaomi Recording Millions Of People’s ‘Private’ Web And Phone Use

“It’s a backdoor with phone functionality,” quips Gabi Cirlig about his new Xiaomi phone. He’s only half-joking.

Cirlig is speaking with Forbes after discovering that his Redmi Note 8 smartphone was watching much of what he was doing on the phone. That data was then being sent to remote servers hosted by another Chinese tech giant, Alibaba, which were ostensibly rented by Xiaomi.

The seasoned cybersecurity researcher found a worrying amount of his behavior was being tracked, whilst various kinds of device data were also being harvested, leaving Cirlig spooked that his identity and his private life was being exposed to the Chinese company.


 

SaiyanGoku

kamehameha!!
what is the reason, customs roms would not be bloated with spywares?
Yes, exactly. Known developers won't risk sullying their reputation like this. Entire source code is available on github which anyone can review. This is not the same with stock roms.
 

theterminator

Wise Old Owl
Should we believe this as true? What do this company gain by recording such data? Does Xiaomi and other companies take user consent to send anonymous data for feedback?
 

whitestar_999

Super Moderator
Staff member
Should we believe this as true? What do this company gain by recording such data? Does Xiaomi and other companies take user consent to send anonymous data for feedback?
You can take it as truth because Chinese <insert any company> = Anti-privacy. Chinese companies use this data for commercial gains(aka ads etc) while Chinese govt use this data for more nefarious purposes & only the portion of this split off vary from company to company(so Huawei sends most data also to govt hence blacklisted by USA while Xiaomi till now sends less data to govt & hence still allowed by USA).
 

theterminator

Wise Old Owl
You can take it as truth because Chinese = Anti-privacy. Chinese companies use this data for commercial gains(aka ads etc) while Chinese govt use this data for more nefarious purposes & only the portion of this split off vary from company to company(so Huawei sends most data also to govt hence blacklisted by USA while Xiaomi till now sends less data to govt & hence still allowed by USA).

When the thing is so known to all why do people here suggest such phones in the Buying Advice section? There no one talks about privacy?
 

SaiyanGoku

kamehameha!!
When the thing is so known to all why do people here suggest such phones in the Buying Advice section? There no one talks about privacy?
There are fewer phones from non-Chinese brands which perform great but don't fit OP's budget/requirements. I always have recommended to flash a custom rom on a new phone on day 1 irrespective of the brand both because of performance and privacy issues.
 

theterminator

Wise Old Owl
There are fewer phones from non-Chinese brands which perform great but don't fit OP's budget/requirements. I always have recommended to flash a custom rom on a new phone on day 1 irrespective of the brand both because of performance and privacy issues.

Flashing a custom ROM might not be a cakewalk even for a tech savvy person. Also, it carries a risk of bricking your phone right?
I think Chinese phones are like just another smartphone from a practical usage point speaking from experience after owning a Redmi N5P for a year. I always thought one or two year old flagship phones give a good performance at a much lower price.
I purchased Samsung M30s 6 months back for my wife and its display still amazes me. The phone doesn’t look a day old.
 

SaiyanGoku

kamehameha!!
Flashing a custom ROM might not be a cakewalk even for a tech savvy person. Also, it carries a risk of bricking your phone right?
It used to be a problem 3-4 years ago. Now-a-days, you can brick your phone if you flash things not meant for your phone. Hard bricking is rare and happens in cases when one doesn't follows the instructions properly.
I always thought one or two year old flagship phones give a good performance at a much lower price.
Performance, maybe but they don't get updates and ultimately users will either look for custom roms or buy another phone. I haven't seen any Snapdragon 855 device on sale around 20-25k (except K20 pro). Samsung India still sells exynos variants of S10 series at a premium.
 

whitestar_999

Super Moderator
Staff member
When the thing is so known to all why do people here suggest such phones in the Buying Advice section? There no one talks about privacy?
There aren't much better options plus redmi phones at least have the option to install custom roms unlike realme,oppo,vivo etc. Actually this is the first time redmi phones get caught in such privacy controversy(earlier it was there too but not at this scale) so from now onwards I will mention this along with suggesting not to use xiaomi own default browser & keyboard(user tracking or not, google products are much better than any Chinese software any day).

Samsung phones are good but gives less hardware/camera compared to similarly price redmi phones but still if gaming/camera is not a preference then I also suggest samsung phones especially for their amoled screen.
 

theterminator

Wise Old Owl
Performance, maybe but they don't get updates and ultimately users will either look for custom roms or buy another phone. I haven't seen any Snapdragon 855 device on sale around 20-25k (except K20 pro). Samsung India still sells exynos variants of S10 series at a premium.

Where does this difference matter, like when you’re doing what?
 

whitestar_999

Super Moderator
Staff member
It used to be a problem 3-4 years ago. Now-a-days, you can brick your phone if you flash things not meant for your phone. Hard bricking is rare and happens in cases when one doesn't follows the instructions properly.
Actually that is the biggest issue even today, seen many posts on xda forums where users bricked their devices because of using wrong version of TWRP etc because of not so clear instructions/missed among the wall of text instructions.
 

theterminator

Wise Old Owl
Samsung phones are good but gives less hardware/camera compared to similarly price redmi phones but still if gaming/camera is not a preference then I also suggest samsung phones especially for their amoled screen.
I think camera is a compromise in any phone below 20k? My Redmi’s camera quality was OK. Same is with Samsung M30s.
 

whitestar_999

Super Moderator
Staff member
I think camera is a compromise in any phone below 20k? My Redmi’s camera quality was OK. Same is with Samsung M30s.
Not necessarily, poco f1+gcam could contend with even high end 30k+ phones in camera quality. Mi A series has very good cameras. Note 7 pro also got a very good camera. Generally speaking samsung phone camera in under 20k almost always preform below redmi/realme phones though that does not mean they are bad.
 

theterminator

Wise Old Owl
Exynos variants have bad battery life and throttling issues during intensive tasks. India doesn't gets snapdragon variants because samsung likes to cut costs.

By ‘bad’ I’m guessing more than an hour less battery life? And by ‘Intensive’ I’m guessing playing games right?
 

whitestar_999

Super Moderator
Staff member
By ‘bad’ I’m guessing more than an hour less battery life? And by ‘Intensive’ I’m guessing playing games right?
@omega44-xt use samsung phone with snapdragon processor so he should know more about this.
 

theterminator

Wise Old Owl
Not necessarily, poco f1+gcam could contend with even high end 30k+ phones in camera quality. Mi A series has very good cameras. Note 7 pro also got a very good camera. Generally speaking samsung phone camera in under 20k almost always preform below redmi/realme phones though that does not mean they are bad.

Offering low prices for high end contenders makes it more believable that they (oppo/vivo/Mi) value user’s data more? Otherwise why else would these companies have low margins? Or is it the classic case of disruptive marketing like Jio, & LG/Sam/Apple retaining their addition of brand value to their retail prices
 

whitestar_999

Super Moderator
Staff member
Offering low prices for high end contenders makes it more believable that they (oppo/vivo/Mi) value user’s data more? Otherwise why else would these companies have low margins? Or is it the classic case of disruptive marketing like Jio, & LG/Sam/Apple retaining their addition of brand value to their retail prices
A bit of both but more emphasis is on disruptive marketing.e.g.redmi got a lot of flak for its initial pricing of K20 & K20 Pro because people were expecting lower prices while Redmi thought that Indian people are now ready to pay the premium for its premium devices. Also Chinese companies have the home field advantage in cutting manufacturing costs so their phones with similar hardware will always be cheaper than any non-Chinese manufacturer.
 
Top Bottom