In response to a recent article by Forbes on April 30 which claims that Mi Browser collects unnecessary information while browsing and sends the user data to other countries, Manu Kumar Jain, Vice President of Xiaomi and MD of Xiaomi India, refuted the claims saying that “This is incorrect and not true.
In a statement on Twitter, Kumar explained that “First and foremost, as an internet company, Xiaomi takes user privacy extremely seriously. Mi Browser follows similar protocols as any other leading browser in the world.”
“In incognito mode, all user data is completely encrypted and anonymised. Mi Browser will never know what you browse in incognito mode and can’t identify you basis incognito browsing. The usage data that is logged is used to make you experience better,” added Kumar.
Asserting that using Mi Browser or any Mi internet product is perfectly safe, Manu Kumar Jain revealed that Xiaomi does not collect any information that user does not have given any explicit consent to. Moreover, he notified that all Mi Browser and Mi Cloud data of Indian users is stored locally in AWS servers in India.
In another blog post on Xiaomi website, the company provided detail on how it collects data and protects user privacy. According to Xiaomi, “There are two types of data collection:
- Collection of aggregated usage statistics data – Data (such as system information, preferences, user interface feature usage, responsiveness, performance, memory usage, and crash reports) is aggregated and cannot alone be used to identify any individual.
An example of usage scenario: The URL is collected to identify web pages which load slowly; this gives us insight into how to best improve overall browsing performance.
- Syncing of user browsing data – An individual’s user browsing data (history) is synced when:
- The user is signed in on Mi Account; and
- The data sync function is set to “On” under Settings
An example of usage scenario: To provide users quick access to previously viewed websites when users switch between different devices after logging in to their Mi Accounts.”
Under incognito mode, user browsing data is not synced, however, aggregate usage statistics data (mentioned in point 1 above) is still collected.
Stating Xiaomi’s goal of providing world class secure services and products to all users, the company said its next “Mint Browser and Mi Browser software update will include an option in incognito mode for all users of both browsers to switch on/off the aggregated data collection, in an effort to further strengthen the control we grant users over sharing their own data with Xiaomi.” The software updates would have been submitted to Google Play for approval on May 3.
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