Home > Uncategorized > Xiaomi takes a bold step towards cyber security

Xiaomi takes a bold step towards cyber security

October 25, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments
Hugo Barra, VP Xiaomi Global

Hugo Barra, VP Xiaomi Global

Xiaomi exploring possibilities of hosting servers in India, this could give rise to new hopes to address data security issues in a country | 

When in July of this year a man raised alarm about how his RedMi device send information via servers in Beijing, Xiaomi responded and said it does not employ back doors to snoop on user data. Now in India the Indian Air Force (IAF) raised an alarm on security related issues concerning Xiaomi devices. As reported in media widely, the security concerns were regarding sharing of data via servers outside India. The IAF issued an advisory to its personnel and families in which it asked them not to use Xiaomi phones.

Xiaomi’s VP Huga Barra is however, smart enough to understand the concerns, which are genuine, given the fact that we are growing in a more connected-world where security is very important for people as well as for the governments. He announced that the company has no problems with hosting servers outside Beijing to ease traffic and enhance performance. This will also help address security concerns.

Barra said on his Google+ page “in 2015, we are planning to take on a new challenge to further improve the performance of our services for users in large and fast-growing markets such as India and Brazil.” He added “In these markets, where Amazon AWS services aren’t yet available, we will be working with local data center providers to set up our service infrastructure. Once that has been completed, users in these markets will be much closer to their data and enjoy even faster speeds by connecting to local servers.”

This clearly indicates that the company is ready to employ servers in these countries (India and Brazil), or use services of local data centers for this. A welcome step indeed as far as data security is concerned as the data that gets channelized through servers is in the country within reach of the government. This will stop concerns about snooping from foreign land via the devices (this might have other implications too, which I am not discussing here). Read 30 years of 1984: 8 Tech predictions of George Orwell that have come true

According to Xiaomi’s India head, Manu Jai this was already in planning and has nothing to do with the alert issued by the IAF. According to him this is a way to offer “some peace of mind for users in India in ensuring that we treat their data with the utmost care and will always maintain the highest privacy standards,” as told to the Indian Express. Whether the company was working on this  before the alert was issued does not matter here, what maters is the way in which the company is trying to address security concerns.

This step fro Xiaomi will raise hopes that other service provides offering phones, tablets, online monetary transaction, email services, social networking services — might also take note (or asked to) on issues related to data security and employing servers in the countries where they operate. We have to wait few more months to see this Chinese company work on its plans and to witness how other players in the Indian market respond to this way of addressing security issues.

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