China smartphone maker Xiaomi apologizes for unauthorized data access

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China smartphone maker Xiaomi apologizes for unauthorized data accessBY GERRY SHIH

BEIJING – Xiaomi Inc said had upgraded its operating to ensure users knew was collecting data from their address books after a report by a computer security firm said the Chinese budget maker was taking personal data without permission.

The privately held company said had fixed a loophole its cloud messaging that had triggered the unauthorized data transfer and that the operating upgrade had been rolled out Sunday.

The issue was highlighted last week a blog post by security firm F-Secure Oyg and had been reported by media outlets Taiwan. Like Inc’s iMessage service, Xiaomi lets users avoid SMS charges by routing messages over the Internet rather than through a carrier’s network.

a lengthy blogpost Google Plus, Xiaomi Vice President Hugo Barra apologized for the unauthorized data collection and said the company only collects phone numbers users’ address books to see if the users are .[eap_ad_2]

He said the ’s messaging would now only activate an “opt-in” basis and that any phone numbers sent back to Xiaomi servers would be encrypted and not stored.

Some industry analysts Xiaomi has pipped Samsung Electronics Co Ltd to become the selling brand in China, the world’s biggest market.

Although an increasing number of smartphone apps harvest vast troves of personal data including a user’s real-time location, the address remains a particularly sensitive domain.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission fined the network Path $800,000 last year after security researchers showed how the company siphoned users’ address books without their knowledge and stored it on its servers.

As a result of the Path controversy, which began in 2012 and prompted a brief Congressional inquiry, changed its iPhone operating system so that app developers would have to ask explicitly for permission before accessing address data. (Reuters)[eap_ad_3]