Xiaomi was recently caught in obtaining user data in the incognito mode
Xiaomi has provided a switch to enable or disable data collection
Mi Browser Pro and Mint Browser updates are available on Google Play
Xiaomi is yet to fix other issues raised by security researchers
Xiaomi has updated the Mi Browser, Mi Browser Pro, and Mint Browser with an improved “incognito” mode that allows users to switch on or off “aggregated data collection” , which was found by security researchers last week. The new updates notably come days after the Chinese company claimed news reports misinterpreted the findings of the researchers. Xiaomi has not, however, issued any statement on the other tracking issues that the researchers raised.
In an update to its blog post providing clarity to the privacy concerns raised by the security researchers last week, Xiaomi has announced that it has updated Mi Browser and Mi Browser Pro to version 12.1.4 as well as Mint Browser to version 3.4.3. The updates bring an option related to the incognito mode for all users to let them switch on or off the aggregated data collection.
Aggregated data collection is disabled by default. You can, however, check whether you've got the improved incognito mode on your Xiaomi browser by going to Settings > Incognito mode settings from the browser. You'll see the Enhanced Incognito mode option that once enabled allows Xiaomi to collect your browsing data, including the search queries you pass on through Google and other search engines.
You can download the updated Mi Browser Pro and Mint Browser for your Android device directly from Google Play. However, for MIUI users who have pre-installed the Mi Browser, which they can't uninstall as well, an update will gradually be available over-the-air that could be installed manually by going to Settings > System apps updater.
From saying ‘fake news' to 'software update' Xiaomi initially refuted the Forbes report citing the security researchers Gabi Cirlig and Andrew Tierney revealing privacy concerns on the Mi Browser, Mi Browser Pro, and Mint Browser. The company said, “We feel they have misunderstood what we communicated regarding our data privacy principles and policy.” Xiaomi India Managing Director Manu Kumar Jain also posted a video and a note stating that the details showing the Mi Browser collecting unnecessary information while browsing and sending the user data to other countries “is incorrect and not true.”
However, Tierney released a video in response to Jain's refusals and highlighted the data collection issues of Xiaomi browsers even when using the incognito mode, before Xiaomi rolled out the latest update.
No other fixes In addition to the issues within the Mi Browser, Mi Browser Pro, and Mint Browser, the security researchers raised some other privacy concerns in Xiaomi phones. “It's a backdoor with phone functionality,” said Gabi Cirlig, as quoted by Forbes.
The researcher was able to find that “a worrying amount of his behaviour” was tracked by his Redmi Note 8 at the time of testing. Further, he was able to see that the device was able to record what folders he opened to which screens he swiped, including the status bar and the settings page. All such issues are yet to be addressed by Xiaomi.
Gadgets 360 has reached out to Xiaomi for clarity on those fixes and will update this space as and when the company responds.
Will OnePlus 8 series be able to take on iPhone SE (2020), Samsung Galaxy S20 in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.
Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a principal correspondent for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send in your leads and tips.