Taiwan investigating Xiaomi over cyber-security concerns

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Following the flak China has drawn in recent times with regard to cyber-security, the Taiwanese government has now begun an investigation into the allegations of breach of privacy levelled against the Chinese smartphone-manufacturer Xiaomi Inc. The results of the investigation are expected to be made public as soon as the enquiry concludes after three months.

While Xiaomi chose to maintain silence on this development, Gin-Shian Lou, a director at Taiwan’s National Communications Commission, said on Wednesday that in the last few months, the government had already initiated independent probes to ascertain whether some models indeed transmit data from the user’s device to the firm’s servers in Beijing without the consent of the users. This is a question of grave cyber-security violation.

It is pertinent to note that the Hong Kong media has also raised eyebrows at Xiaomi’s policies charging the smartphone-producer of directing copies of user text-messages to servers located in the mainland. However, Xiaomi has dismissed these claims as false and defamatory.

In August, though, Xiaomi had adopted a completely different attitude when a Finnish security company uncovered evidence pointing to the fact that the firm collected address book data without authorisation from the users. At this instance, Xiaomi had publicly apologized and promised that it would modify a default cloud feature.

It is widely known that China’s laws dictate that companies choosing to store data within China’s territorial limits are under an obligation to comply with any data requests forwarded by the government.

In the recent past, renowned firms like Yahoo and Apple Inc. have been embroiled in controversies emanating from these statutory requirements, even as Google steered clear of all troubles by not positioning servers in China.