Xiaomi · Privacy & Data Security

Xiaomi probably builds good and inexpensive smartphones. The devices are generously supplied with CustomROMs by LinageOS & Co.

What the government of the People’s Republic of China thinks of privacy and data protection should be generally known. The citizen is massively monitored, conditioned and fought.

In 2014, it was announced that Xiaomi smartphones will send data (photos, text messages, e-mails) to “certain” servers as long as they are connected via Wi-Fi. Even rooting or installing custom ROMs did not stop the transfer because the spyware code was deeply anchored in the system by the manufacturer. Xiaomi confirmed the data transfers.

a Taiwanese internet media has uncovered that the RedMi Note is actually sending data back to a server hosted in China behind the scenes.

What surprises the tester is that even if you root the phone and flash it with another firmware, the background transmission continues. It seems that the process is hard coded into the phone.

=> https://en.ocworkbench.com/redmi-note-alleged-sending-photos-sms-china-servers-secretly/

What does it look like five years later? Are Xiaomi smartphones trustworthy in terms of privacy and data protection?

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for me its cheap hardware for custom roms.

full agree. I’m using 3 Xiaomi devices. As far as you won’t use the stock MIUI rom, everything will be fine.

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Anyone at /e/ have any input on this?

Personally I love China, (not the gov… :wink:) however I am as concerned about privacy as anyone else here on the forum and am very curious about this!

If the issue is truly incoded to the processor firmware and /e/ does nothing to change it, then no way can I longer recommend the Pocophone!

I only can share my own impression on this.
I do not like xiaomi. But it is a feeling. Nothing properly based (up to now). And I am not talking about the performance of the devices, but about the firm.
There is something in the way they have spread in markets, and the moment, that make me have a bad feeling.
But, being serious. I have nothing to really support that.

check your outgoing internet transfer with something like ‘netmonitor’. If there any untrusted or unknown connections, block them via firewall like aWall+

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It’s not the first time I’ve heard that spyware features are implemented in Chinese phones at the modem’s microcode level, which allows them to leak your private data even bypassing the airplane mode. One guy from Reddit talked about it a lot not so long ago.

I decided to check this myself with my old Xiaomi Mi4c on Snapdragon 808, so I made a clean LineageOS installation and started running all its external connections through Wireshark software on my Linux notebook. I may have done something wrong, but I didn’t see any suspicious activity. But I’m not a pro and I wasn’t very diligent, whereas my device is old and based on an the non-Сhinese SoC.

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Maybe everything’s all right. I don’t know. But I have to think of the proverb: “A liar will not be believed even when he speaks the truth.”

Huawei also says they don’t spy with their 5G technology. Is it just a fantasy of the American government?

That’s a battle between two liars.

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Interesting subject… especially because I own a Xiaomi device now :slight_smile:

@gael if there is something the community can help with here, I would be glad to participate, within the boundaries of my technical skills