Late last week, it was reported that Chinese phone maker Xiaomi was allegedly collecting browser data from customers using its Xiaomi devices.
The revelation was amplified by a security researcher who published the story on Forbes. Expectedly, the report was discussed widely across multiple and reputable online media outlets.
The main case here was that Xiaomi was involved in the vice using its in-house browser.
Xiaomi is also said to have taken the exercise a notch higher: users who used the browser in incognito mode were not shielded from the data collection by the company.
Furthermore, the researcher says he noticed that his browser activity was recorded and sent to servers in Singapore and Russia. The domains of the servers were, however, hosted in Beijing, China.
The data included websites visited, settings, and screens, to mention a few.
Of course, Xiaomi received a public backlash and in typical fashion, the company has responded to the report, citing it as misleading and denying the allegations altogether.
Xiaomi says that whatever data that was sent to the said serves is aggregated, and cannot be used to identify a unique user as reported by the researcher.
The company further says that its operations are in line with local and international privacy laws.
The Mi Brower, as well as Mint browsers that were cited in the report, have since been updated. Users can now opt of data collection, especially when they are accessing the internet via incognito mode.
The latest versions are: Mi Browser/Mi Browser Pro (v12.1.4), and Mint Browser (v3.4.3).
These software updates include an option in incognito mode for all users of both browsers to switch on/off the aggregated data collection.
We thank you all for your attention, suggestions and dedication during the past few days to further improving the overall user experience of our products and services.
A full statement from Xiaomi can be read here.