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Q: Online articles recently referred to some privacy issues with the Redmi Note, claiming that photos and text messages are sent to China secretly. Are they true?

A: An article severely misinterpreted a discussion thread asking about the Redmi Note's communication with a server in China. The article also neglected to refer to a Chinese version of this Q&A already posted on the Xiaomi Hong Kong Facebook page ( MIUI does not secretly upload photos and text messages.

MIUI requests public data from Xiaomi servers from time to time. These include data such as preset greeting messages (thousands of jokes, holiday greetings and poems) in the Messaging app and MIUI OTA update notifications, i.e. all non-personal data that does not infringe on user privacy.

Q: Does Xiaomi upload any personal data without my knowledge?

A: No. Xiaomi offers a service called Mi Cloud that enables users to back up and manage personal information in the cloud, as well as sync to other devices.  This includes contacts, notes, text messages and photos. Mi Cloud is turned off by default.  Users must log in with their Mi accounts and manually turn on Mi Cloud.  They also have the option to only turn on backup for certain types of data. The use and storage of data in Mi Cloud fully respects the local laws of each country and region.  Strict encryption algorithms are implemented to protect user privacy. 

Q: Can I turn Mi Cloud off?

A: Yes. Just go to Settings > Mi Cloud to turn it off. If you would like to use a cloud back up service from another provider, there are options from Google, Dropbox and many others.

Q: Why should I believe you?

A: Xiaomi is serious about user privacy and takes all possible steps to ensure our Internet services adhere to our privacy policy. We do not upload any personal information and data without the permission of users. In a globalized economy, Chinese manufacturers' handsets are selling well internationally, and many international brands are similarly successful in China – any unlawful activity would be greatly detrimental to a company's global expansion efforts.
Mohammed Faheem P's profile photoRAliKH Ovi's profile photoRonald alik (ronalik)'s profile photoahchien ong's profile photo
People have no idea how much google takes data from them. Just go incognito mode or log out and see search result and how far they differ.but finally thats how google makes money. I dont think people should have trouble trusting xiaomi. 
Absolute respect for companies choosing to have cloud features off by default. All companies should do it this way.
Get your big ass TVs over to the UK and I am more than happy to send data to the Chinese about what I am watching. :)
So you don't trust Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive? Because none of them are open source. 
+Israel Rodriguez And you shouldn't trust any of those things. There are better open source alternatives!
Can we expect to see Xiaomi releasing transparency reports à la Google regarding things like requests for information?
Hugo that you seriously took time to reply to this nonsense..makes you a great man!clearly its trying to give xiaomi a stab.. Any person ever tried a xiaomi device can only state it great phone! I'm sure some companies were losing market share to xiaomi so they brought this nonsense in the world! Its ridiculous..

Does Xiaomi plan to develop its own sense of style and design at some point in the future or is the plan to simply follow Apple as much as possible? All those mi too products and even advertising materials are pretty embarrassing so far. Time to hire decent designers?
+Sirajuddin Ahmed +Israel Rodriguez I was somewhat joking. You pay a lot more than $10/month for 1TB of cloud storage. You also pay for it with your data and privacy, and often ad revenue.

There are some great options like and +ownCloud for open source cloud platforms, but you may have to find a different storage provider to run them on. In a best case scenario, your storage should not be provided by the same people who make your cloud software in my opinion.
I'm a bit +Leo Laporte in this matter.. I don't care that much about privacy that I don't have to use Google's a life saver for me.. And I'll still have the 1TB WD on my desk
I dont doubt Xiaomi and especially Hugo Barra :) 
"Q: Does Xiaomi upload any personal data without my knowledge?"

This is a yes or no question. I understand what Mi Cloud is but it's not an answer to the above question.
I guess one key question that you're not answering here is: why a user's Google Play Download/Gmail Attachment Download goes through Beijing, given that Google doesn't have a server in Beijing right now.
"Respects the law" are code words in China for "preserve the Party interest". Falung Gong, democracy militants and discussing "sensitive subjects" such as corruption are all unlawful in China. What Hugo is saying here is that they'll submit to the "lawful" Party requests for the online data for what they deem "unlawful ". You can of course try to make a moral equivalency with what the NSA did in the USA (I'm sure someone will be along to make the argument) but if the data isn't encrypted in the cloud with keys held only in the device by the user the data is susceptible to any "lawful" request and both the user and Hugo won't ever know about it...
Now Cloud services are spy? Come on people don't be naive with everything you read. All Cloud services get your information, icloud, Google, Microsoft. If you don't want to be spyed just don't use Mi Cloud. 
The same services I have on a Mi3 and my old Mi2, and I have a backup for all my photos, SMS, call reg and notes. The only way to get this information is with user & password so no one is spying me. 
If you want absolute privacy, don't use the Internet. Or better yet, go live under a rock in the middle of a secluded Island in the Pacific. 
But the issue being thrown here is that the data are sent to China's CNNIC Internet affairs. Is Mi Cloud service being monitored by Chinese Government? Can you comment on this?
We're really serious about user privacy. You can totally trust us. Thank you. 
+MIUI ROM so as consumers. Thats why we are asking. So does China have access and monitoring over Xiaomi Server? Yes or No...
Yes, doubt the Chinese but let's conveniently forget that every other country has spied in one way or another on the online activities of its citizens. I'm pretty sure you have bank accounts, use an ISP (otherwise you wouldn't be posting here) or have credit cards. That's a bunch of hypocritical, racist and grand standing BS. 
I trusted chinese company for the first time.
I trusted Xiaomi.
Now, I am very disapointed with Xiaomi
This is a global issue. Hopefully it doesn't stop Xiaomi from continuing to expand.
What is annoying is that even after disabling MiCloud the user has reported that MIUI has been sending data to Chinese servers. Why is that?

I myself checked my Mi3 (Indian ROM) after disabling MiCloud, but it doesn't seem to send data to Chinese server. It is also irritating that every now and then MiCloud keeps reminding me to sign up with MiCloud and 'reactivate' my new SIM.
+Andrzej Kucharczyk in what way does the mi3 look more like an iphone than any other smartphone? yes it has icons! so does many!
it has a powerbutton, volume rockers, navigational buttons a screen a housing yes it got all that! still mi3 looks much diffrent than a iphone! what about ios new notification center?! isnt that an android thing from day one!? dont measure with two standards sir!
+Haykal Lorena Every data packet that goes through a country's servers (and some even beyond) can be accessed by their government's intelligence services.

That is why the recent NSA scandal reveals are so worrying - most of the world uses Google, Microsoft, Apple software. Relatively few use Xiaomi, in fact I never heard of them until Hugo Barra left Google for them.

Last year hackers revealed Samsung Galaxy devices had a backdoor that allowed Samsung to change and access anything on your phone.
+Hugo Barra, I really appreciate your clarification. But the case that's mentioned in the above comment is still a concern. What if a person doesn't need the data exchange to be happen? what if a person doesn't want to the above said messages/jokes whatsoever? Is there a possibility that an end user can completely turn this anonymous data usage off?

I've recently switched from Galaxy to +Xiaomi to enjoy MIUI. I really love the interface - it's simpler, reliable (to an extend, if these stuff can be fixed) and it's more customizable. But like I said above - it needs to be more transparent and things like these should be like an on/off thing; the data exchange; would appreciate your comment on it.
+YoshiPeach Mario they should be transparent then and allow users to turn off the features and reject permissions. That's why there are features like this now in phones because of what happened and yet still it persist. There security risk here such that China has been aggressive to its neighbors and so Xiaomi should secure this or they might soon find problems with other countries.
+Haykal Lorena they find problems with countries anyway, since there would be no competition any more! other brands would be scared and are willing to pay topdollar for preventing xiaomi to rise! China build great stuff and really there's no diffrent risc for owning aa xiaomi over anyother bigger known brand!

this is ridiculous, i dont see smasung, sony etc getting this negative propoganda! 
the make the mi ,and as a phone its working peerfect. you dont feel good with it dont use!

ever saw how many information apps like facebook etc wants to use, its like you alowe them to take over your whole phone! that is ridiculous!
 but he i guess information sells well, thank google for that! not xiaomi..
+Jeffrey van Zeijst i believe every brand goes through this but it this their assurance that the users will be protected. Xiaomi just need to clarify things such that even when mi cloud is not on still it sends data. They could provide options like turn off the feature completely or grant or reject permissions. That way consumers know Xiaomi protects their rights.
i really don get why people are so afraid about it? yes youll get more advertisement based on your browsing behaviour etc.. but to me androids has been so easy and cool, i really cant be bothered by it! espacially what happens most is when you see these smaller companies rise and delevering a very good product, western countries always start to scare people! its the way capitalism works! oh so this chinese manufacturer makes a good product thats affecting sales to much! lets scare them for buying it! guess what US tapped phonecalls from German prime minister! i want be afraid off xiaomi using some of my data, what could possible be so interesting? they gonna spy on the video's i watch or how i still listen to the 80's, or how many time i told my girl how much i care about her...people get real! xiaomi is no exception than any other phonemaker and they deserve the same trust!

Its the western governments and capitalism we need to watch out for!
Because persons differ.If you saying Xiaomi is being targeted then it goes the same wit other companies like what is happening to Apple and Microsoft in China. It's not about money but like i said we people just need options and assurance that are rights and needs are met.
than what more assurance do you need? its already there in the miui rom, you can swich the micloud off!
jeff they should answer why data is still being sent even though micloud is off. What information are sent?
+Haykal Lorena
Turn off what features, what permissions? Did you pay attention to the news about the NSA activities? In the Samsung Galaxy example I used, there was NO option to disable those "call home" features. iOS devices also have data packet sniffers that send data back to Apple servers - it took a hacker to prove that it existed in the first place. Do you honestly think that data retention is a simple case of switching an option off in the settings menu??? There is a lot the developers - and their governments - don't want you to turn off. In the same whitepaper for example, iOS devices can be remotely activated, to record voice and video. I'm sure Android has a similar hack buried in there somewhere. And Windows, Blackberry etc.

The companies can talk about encryption and control as much as they want - they are LEGALLY BOUND by their government to hand over user data at their request. Or simply allow backdoors to their software and services. On top of the NSA influencing encryption standards.

In the news, Google have been announcing measures to gain back customer trust, things like better encryption for email and such - but it all means nothing, as the backbone of the internet is intercepted by whichever country the data flows through.

I imagine its the same in China.
+Hugo Barra why violate the gpl then? Not giving kernel sources also gives lots of 'misinterpretations' .. 
So let me get this straight. We are supposed to trust a company they breaks GPL laws, includeds the MI market in their roms that is nothing more then a warez app,  and Takes all their UI designs from another company? Not to mention all the shady acts from the past. Yeah ok
+MIUI ROM in China, this is nonsense given current environment where Communists make laws freely.
Well I see many of you precautious and maybe een scared not knowing what happens to your data?! I personally don't care anymore! If you do please feel free to do so. For me I tried the mi3 with miui and many other android phones even windows mobile and iOS as well. Let's say ive had them all! And neither companies can be trusted for not sharing any data! Even if they say they do..its more you either care about it or not.

I don't! And was very happy using the mi3, even so happy that it is my favourite device! It has nothing to do with it being cheap, Chinese or was solid performance day in day out! To me one of the best phones to get in 2014! And for any company building such a great experience, and not ripping you off, deserves my support and I was a happy user! I might be again with the upcoming mi4. I have no issues whatsoever with xiaomi! And even if you need any data from me to make the product even better! Please do so...
+David Batty what ui elements are taken from other companies!? And what company might that be? What you mean apple? and well hey its a xiaomi and the ship it with mi market depending on the country! Singapore comes with play store out of the box!

So to you nexus ships with warez as well, so does Samsung, aplle with iOS, Microsoft with windows phone, blackberry, etc..they all ship with their own

Why is xiaomi criticized for doing so and not all the other brands as well.

As I said, you either care about it or not! If you do,a smartphone might not be your cup of tea! But than how do you find out your phonecalls won't get wired or texts won't get intercepted any way?. Don't get to freaked out please..
+Travis Koger yes they can even advice what to watch since those are only in Chinese language! ;-) to bad they don't ship it! Both miTv look really great!
Piotr S
@Hugo Barra
How much did you get the payment in rubles?
+Jeffrey van Zeijst yes the UI is a straight copy of apples iOS. The market allows you to get paid apps for free. This is where it differs from other markets. As for the privacy concerns you are right. Either you care or you don't and in the end some data will be collected. Not alot we can do about that in this day and age. 
But these Q&A you've showed to us is to disable MiCloud, but it doesn't include the step to delete the Mi account? So can you tell us the step to delete the Mi account? +Hugo Barra
+Tom Kijas this is not good! I tell you I hate lies, this reminds me of that Nokia lumia phone1020!? The presented ois and showed a video shot with the phone..fake as the reflections of the van driving by showed the whole professional setup shooting that video! No 1020 anywhere close! Still that 1020 camera performed really does the mi3's shooter! Although this all might tllok as a lie the actual shooter on the phone still shoots fantastic sharp images at lightning speeds.. 
The fact is, any company with the infrastructure (i.e. servers, cable lines etc.) and expertise to make a phone with cloud services, also has the accompanying government who has the technical - and legal - power to hack, or simply backdoor (or tell the company through a secret injunction to hand over the data, like they do with the US tech giants) their way into those servers and grab your data.

However, there seems to be little or no way of stopping that, if anything government powers around the world are getting worse. In 100 years time,  when being connected is necessary to function in the world rather than a convenience (some might say this is already the case), then governments will have total knowledge of its people. Very worrying.
Firstly, The moment you have a personal email account like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail etc that sends and receives data over public Internet that's when your privacy is already gone it's too late to think about privacy now.

Secondly, all the tech companies are not interested in your personal data but they want to understand or analyze your online presence and your patterns so that they can create data models for marketing, sales and other commercial aspects which should not really concern any risk to an individual in any way, yes if you don't want to share all that stuff then you have options to do things in private and not crib about privacy.. Just my thoughts I could be wrong. 
+Hugo Barra Why not have more (or maybe all) FAQs and other informational resources and documentation in English if not in local languages (which will be a gigantic task in India). I tried using the MiCloud or Xiaomi account web portals and after a few clicks it was like "all roads lead to a Chinese language web page" in both cases, not to mention some of them might actually be TnC pages.

You've mentioned:

> MIUI requests public data from Xiaomi servers from time to time. These include data such as preset greeting messages (thousands of jokes, holiday greetings and poems) in the Messaging app and MIUI OTA update notifications, i.e. all non-personal data that does not infringe on user privacy.

Jokes and poems would be personal data I guess :-)

Anyway, what is it? Does it present an explicit request (in the form of pop-up or notification or so) to the user asking whether the user wants to share that data? Or it scans public groups/boards? (Sorry I'm not clear about it).

Also could you/Xiaomi please list the IPs that the apps will communicate too so that we know where the data is going, just for clarity's sake.

Thank you for addressing this issue publicly!
 +Hugo Barra +MIUI ROM 

please explain how then a rooted device communicated with chinese server unless it was hardwired from inside?
(Rooted Redemi device connecting images was spread in internet..just google it)

Cancelled my order (2 no's) till i get a clear answer
this is really disappointing..i hope XIAOMI solves this..nowadays privacy is a must for all users..i have hongmi 1s and soon to buy a REDNOTE for me and a MI3 for a thinking twice before i m buy this brand..and thats a shame cause i love MIUI and xiaomi phones!!!! PLEASE SOLVE THIS QUICKLY!!
+Sérgio Pereira don't let the joy of the phone be killed by this crap! privacy has been broken everywhere, us government wiretapping German prime minister! What could possibly be so interesting about my data!;-)

If bought a redmi note pro and mi3 as well..both are superb personal is the mi3 and it was leaps ahead for its time! The best there was! Redmi is perfect for a more budget oriented user! But I advise you to get yourself a mi3 16gb Instead! 70$Price difference is totally worth it!
If you really wanna go crazy go 64gb like I did! Its the best I ever head, and I can't be bothered by this nonsense! Xiaomi is nothing else than all the other brands except for the fact they build worlds best devices for lowest price possible. This should not withhold you from buying, you'll be missing out bro!
that sounds like a defeatist attitude... instead of accepting it as the norm the public should be rejecting it, whether its one company or ALL of them
Google started this by sort off monitoring their users browsing behaviour etc..its really fdone already from the early years, still I like google and their android as my favourite phone os! Xiaomi delivers me a great and fun experience and their device performs really good! Besides its quality its cheap as well! What more can I wish for!?
actually Microsoft started it back in the 90s with undcomented Windows backdoors. They were the first signatory of PRISM as well.
+Anthony Smith How is that any different to any other smartphone? If we use any messaging service - Skype, WhatsApp, Hangouts, iMessages etc. - the contacts are automatically scanned and no doubt stored by the US company, and by extension, the NSA.
+YoshiPeach Mario xiaomi is sending this data over the internet in plain text, which means any of the networks it passes through to get to China can read it very easily - because it has zero encryption.
+Anthony Smith Hugo stated a new reply to this issue, and long story short, those who have trust issues towards xiaomi, are happily to know xiaomi launch an update around the 10th of Aug, as a sulotion! Data will be encrypted and micloud will be an option switched of by default! If I understood it all right?!

No more unwanted selfies ending up on Xi Jinpings breakfast table! 
+Cyclone Chuah Xiaomi uses a message service between miui users, so that texting, instead going through the sms/provicer/carirs service goes through a free of charge ip-based route! this is what the micloud server does! Sort off whatsapp/telegram etc.. so to raise some securty they started to encrypt the service and switch it off by default! this will be proccesed in an ota update starting yesterday!

The thing is people tend to asume worst case scenario's , instead off give xiaomi some credits for keeping your phonebill a bit lower, they get bombarded!
It's actually a pretty thoughtfull feature from miui!  

Still my fucking favourite brand, feel really sorry for those disbelievers!  their cure, buy one! your gonna love it!
+Jeffrey van Zeijst
Hello fanboy. Please explain why they upload personally identifying information without knowledge of the user when they claim "We do not upload any personal information and data without the permission of users."

Clear lies.
What a great way to start a conversation Dairy Fairy! By the way nice profile picture..i'm sure your pretty familiar with big brown stuff up your mouth!

This had something to do with a free texting service build in MIUI between miui users. Its to keep your fucking phone bill lower!
But i guess if your scared that any of your selftaken nudity assshots end up on a  chinese fucking billboard, xiaomi wont be your thing!
Wow you've gotten so angry at something that has been proven (data that identifies your specific phone is sent with NO prompting). Now you are trying to defend it by saying it's to lower my bill which means your are actually also confirming that they do it. Thanks :)

Then you abuse me with all sorts of rubbish and then apologise for my attitude? Very mature of you.

Thanks for the link which says they were a bit sensationalistic about it but does not refute any of the claims at all.

Don't quite understand your rage here. You live in Europe so you don't have some sort of misplaced nationalistic pride in Chinese companies. Cheerio
Im not denying xiaomi micloud server doesn't send any data! Its just not done that secretly some of the haters believe it's done..! That attitude trying to harm a good company is what's upsetting! But hey if you don't like the device, don't buy! Not me being such a fanboy like you accuse me, but that phone is great phone! Don't try to scare people off unnecessary!
The only way to know is to intercept network packets sent by the phone. Pretty sneaky. Then they denied it. Those are my two issues.
its going to be very difficult to convince the majority of the world ,a company in china takes privacy seriously. to operate a web service in china requires icp license where the state heavy hand come in. xiaomi has nice phones but they r like public phones with a state minder
+Albert A thank you , its good knowing some can actually think things through instead of assuming the worst! but if they don't want to be a part of the community i'm fine with it, there missing out on a great .and very affordable phone! 'Still its just a phone something we just use, when they don't like the way to use it, get something else you feel happier about! Only what they should do is stop having that insulting attitude towards something they don't know the exact story and facts from! As far from my opinion they're innocent untill proven wrong! Whats the importance of the matter they're accused for!? is it something everybody else does as well, why is it all off the sudden so important? whats at stake? whats to loose for xiaomi putting this story in the media?! Competition can be good, Propaganda isnt!
+Galin Georgiev your comment is old news dude! Its not even like that! Better way to stop your privacy from being taken, is to stop Googleling! Come back when you grew up more mature and read the information correctly !
NO your right i'm absolutely clueless!
Whats wrong is your attitude, its the one that should be updated anyway..

why does google,samsung,htc,lg or whatsoever update? I think they did it for addressing the issues with people like you, spreading hate towards the brand! xiaomi is a ricing company and launched in  couple of asian markets last month or two, they are selling like hot cakes! it must threaten big pieces of market share getting lost to them! So it was highly convenient to let the media hype this concern, while not even knowing what exact data was taken, under what curcomstances, and for what reason!?

People like you spreading halfbaked made up assumptions,, is causing any business harm, so they choose to disable the service and took extra encrypting methods to make it certain, people like your are gonna shut up whining! I bet you don't even have a miui based xiaomi, and i really don't get your concerns as your not the one threaded anything by this or am i wrong? i think you should concern your own  device a lot more!
Kind attention  Mr Hugo Barra,president XIOMI
Xiaomi's journey into indian market draws a lot of expectation from it's
leader.People expect not only value for money but also a quality product from the chinese producer against the impression of a manage-to-do product line .As per my use of XIAOMI MI3 for 01 week , I feel the sound quality could  have been improved  to woo the music lovers
Would you help me in replacing my 02 sets with improved speakers.
+SHACHI KANTA Khuntia isnt the volume issue a bug in the indian rom? i heard more indian users with this isue and thought a later update fixed it! not sure this is the isues your having, the volume could be a little louder on my mi3 as well but its not low, right about average! im on multilang rom from! you might try another rom, if problmes percist it might be hardware related!
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