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Xiaomi adds ‘opt-in’ patch to address security concerns


Xiaomi has added an ‘opt-in’ patch to its cloud messaging service after reports emerged that SMS and contact list data was sent to the company’s server.miui-cloud-messaging

The Chinese company apologized over the security concerns and Xiaomi Vice President Hugo Barra announced the changes that were made to the service. The patch was added after F-secure, a security company reported that the IMEI, phone number, contact list data and SMS messages were sent to the company’s server in China at regular intervals. Barra assured the users that Xiaomi does not store any personal information in a post on Google+.

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Hugo Barra’s statement reads:

“As we believe it’s our top priority to protect user data and privacy, we have decided to make MIUI cloud-messaging service opt-in and no longer automatically activate users.”

Xiaomi’s cloud-messaging service is similar to Apple’s iMessage where messages are sent through the server and messages can be sent for free. Barra mentioned that SMS and device identification was required for routing messages. The patch update was offered to users from Sunday with an added encryption feature for phone numbers while messages are sent through the cloud based services.

F-secure tested the MIUI’s Mi messaging service in Xiaomi’s Redmi 1S smart phone that led to the privacy concerns. However, users will not able to use the cloud-messaging service after opting out. The company, which is set to release Mi 4 in July is widely popular in China and has overtaken Samsung in the smart phone market.Recently Dropbox had notified users to encrypt data in case of security concerns but would deactivate some features.

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