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MIUI does not secretly upload photos and text messages, says Xiaomi

About ten days ago a news story appeared online, which claimed that Xiaomi’s Redmi Note smartphone was stealing user photos and SMS and sending them secretly to China. The report was picked up by various news websites including GSM Arena earlier today, creating a panic among Xiaomi users worldwide. We had also seen the report but given the lack of any credibility for the source, we had decided not to carry it. Now, Xiaomi has come forward and denied these allegations.

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Xiaomi Global VP Hugo Barra just wrote on Google+ that MIUI, the custom version of Android used by Xiaomi in its devices, does not secretly upload photos and text messages.

He stated that the original article about the spyware claims severely misinterpreted a discussion thread asking about the Redmi Note’s communication with a server in China. Barra emphasized that there is nothing shady happening at Xiaomi and users need not worry.

He further explained that MIUI requests public data from Xiaomi servers from time to time but none of this infringes on user privacy and is totally non-personal in nature.

“Xiaomi is serious about user privacy and takes all possible steps to ensure our Internet services adhere to our privacy policy. We do not upload any personal information and data without the permission of users. In a globalized economy, Chinese manufacturers’ handsets are selling well internationally, and many international brands are similarly successful in China – any unlawful activity would be greatly detrimental to a company’s global expansion efforts,” Barra added.

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