Xiaomi has released an essential patch for its MIUI cloud messaging service that makes it optional for users who concerns for their online security. Earlier, the iMessage-like MIUI cloud messaging service was automatically activated on new Xiaomi smartphones.
The MI’s messaging service routes your text messages via a cloud server based in China to the recipient. This feature is same as iMessage which ensures that you are using your mobile data to send messages to your friend and not using your mobile service providers SMS pack.
As per reports claimed by F-Secure, Xiaomi was secretly storing user information with servers located in China. This information included the phone’s IMEI number, phone number and contacts. While Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra refused the claims, but the Cloud Messaging service is automatically activated through IP communication protocol with Xiaomi servers when you powered up phone for the first time. With the latest patch, users will be able to switch it on or off according to their need.
Hugo Barra also address privacy concerns of users on his Google+ page.
A recent article in Taiwan and a related report by F-Secure raised privacy concerns by stating that Xiaomi devices are sending phone numbers to Xiaomi’s servers. These concerns refer to the MIUI Cloud Messaging service described above. As we believe it is our top priority to protect user data and privacy, we have decided to make MIUI Cloud Messaging an opt-in service and no longer automatically activate users. We have scheduled an OTA system update for today (Aug 10th) to implement this change. After the upgrade, new users or users who factory reset their devices can enable the service by visiting “Settings > Mi Cloud > Cloud Messaging” from their home screen or “Settings > Cloud Messaging” inside the Messaging app — these are also the places where users can turn off Cloud Messaging.
We apologize for any concern caused to our users and Mi fans. We would also like to thank the media and users who have been sending us feedback and suggestions, allowing us to improve and provide better Internet services.
According to Google+ post he said, “Xiaomi is a mobile Internet company committed to providing high-quality products and easy-to-use Internet services. We believe it is our top priority to protect user data and privacy. We do not upload or store private information or data without the permission of users.”