Xiaomi apologises for data collection claims with cloud messaging service

11 Aug 2014

The Xiaomai M3.

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has apologised to users after it was alleged to have been collecting data from its iMessage service without its customers’ consent.

Xiaomi is one of the world’s fastest growing mobile phone makers. The company’s vice-president Hugo Barra posted an apology on his Google+ page, stating Xiaomi was not storing users’ phone numbers or other data through its MIUI messaging service, after a recent report found the opposite was the case.

According to CNet, the service is similar to Apple’s iMessage, which routes messages through its own cloud-based system rather than through various telecom networks, meaning messages are free.

However, this retaining of information was a part of Xiaomi’s remit as part of MIUI but after facing such levels of criticism the company released an update for its operating system which now gives users the ability to tick or untick a box, allowing the company to opt into any data-sharing obligation.

While stating that Xiaomi was not taking part in any secretive plan to harvest information, Barra in his blog post did apologise to users for the commotion.

“We apologise 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.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic