Saturday, 25 October 2014

Data migration from China has nothing to do with IAF alert: Xiaomi India head Manu Jain


It seemed like Xiaomi’s decision to migrate data from Beijing to US and Singapore was in response to the recent IAF notification.
Xiaomi has again made headlines but this time for something serious. Days after it was reported that the Indian Air Force (IAF) had issued an advisory asking its personnel and their families not to use Xiaomi smartphones on account of ‘spying’, Xiaomi’s global vice president Hugo Barra’s blog post on Google Plus on Wednesday titled “We’re moving your data” has sparked a new row.
It seemed like Xiaomi’s decision to migrate data from Beijing to US and Singapore was in response to the recent IAF notification. However, Xiaomi has denied this completely.
“The process for data/server migration started in early 2014, part of this migration will be completed by the end of the year. We believe that this migration will help improve the performance of our services. It will also provide some peace of mind for users in India in ensuring that we treat their data with the utmost care and will always maintain the highest privacy standards,” Manu Jain, head of Xiaomi’s India operation, told IndianExpress.com.
(Here is all you need to know: Indian Air Force alerts its personnel not to use Xiaomi phones)
IndianExpress.com had reported earlier that the advisory issued by IAF might be based on an old F-Secure privacy report. The same has been confirmed by Xiaomi now.
“We are not sure, but this might be some kind of misunderstanding. We do not have full information about the circular issued by IAF, however we believe that this advisory circular is based on events about 3 months back. We believe, it refers to the F-Secure test done on the Redmi 1S in July 2014 about the activation of our Cloud Messaging service by default,” said Jain.
F-Secure had confirmed, in a week, that Xiaomi had fixed the issues in its RedMi 1S smartphones through an update. “We immediately addressed the concerns raised by F-Secure. We scheduled an OTA system update on August 10, 2014 to implement a change, which ensured that all the users had to manually activate the Cloud services, instead of being activated by default. This change was directly acknowledged by F-Secure 4 days later, where they confirmed that their concerns were addressed,” added Jain.
The same was confirmed by Su Gim Goh, Security Advisor, APAC, F-Secure during his visit to New Delhi on September 1.