In the past few days we’ve been witnessing lots of controversy regarding evidence that the phone manufacturer Xiaomi is sending your personal data to a Chinese server. A lot has been written about that – we’ve heard both sides of the story as Xiaomi representatives are trying to put down the wild fire and assure everyone that this is not the case.
We just wanted to make it clear that as an editorial team we stand behind them and for us it seems there is no truth to these allegations. Unfortunately, we may have helped aggravate the situation by reporting it rather… bluntly.
On one hand, there is nothing wrong about allowing the world to know about the hottest concerns in the tech industry so everyone should make up their own mind and draw their conclusions.
On the other, I admit that we reported it from the wrong angle and that perhaps, we should have approached the whole thing more responsibly and with less sensationalism as it was pretty much clear right from the start it’s all smoke and mirrors. For all we know, it could have even been a blackhat PR campaign by a Xiaomi competitor, sparked by the fact that the company has been recently making a splash on the Indian market.
Even if the Chinese government, or whoever else, was using Xiaomi’s phones to gather personal user info, we doubt that it would be in such an obvious way where it can easily outrage people.
It is clear that the source of the whole thing is questionable at best – just one guy, a forum member, who merely posted a few screenshots without proper details or independent confirmation and from there on the story was picked up and blown out of proportion. What I am certain of though is that we shouldn’t be as quick to draw conclusions about Xiaomi here.
We also shouldn’t be too quick to put our tinfoil hats on. Maybe the Chinese government is doing all it can do get its hands on as much personal data as it can. But so is the US government, using American manufacturers, who would readily submit your personal data to the authorities if a court orders it (or just because the NSA thought that is appropriate). Unfortunately, it’s just the world we live in.