Taiwan: Apple and Xiaomi Phones Breaking Privacy Laws

Privacy laws in Taiwan are being violated by Xiaomi, Apple and others by saving user information and sending the information back to the company’s servers, according to an important government regulator.

The NCC, National Communications at Taiwan revealed their findings of the investigation on Thursday at a legislative session. The regulator had examined the phones since early August in order to see if the requirements for local security were met.

The ongoing investigation has found thus far problems in 12 smartphone models, said vice chairman of commissions Yu Hsiao-Cheng at the same legislative session on Thursday.

He also added that nearly all of the phones do register with the company’s server. However, he did not comment about specific problems.

Both Xiaomi and Apple were named from the list, but the commission did not show the list of the rest of the vendors.

The investigation started because of a local legislator who pointed out the security issues with Xiaomi, a smartphone device producer that is located in mainland China.

The company’s smartphones, which support Android, have become hugely popular in and around Asia, however the devices have created a certain degree uncertainty because they send information to the servers at the company without the permission of users.

In August, the company apologized about the issue and for creating doubts regarding privacy. Xiaomi changed some of the software included in the phone, to ease the minds of users and regulators.

However, on Thursday, Chiu brought up questions such as why Xiaomi phones were still being sold by a mobile carrier in Taiwan, given the privacy risks.

In response, the NCC in Taiwan said at the session that the problems involving privacy also extended to other companies such as Apple.

Apple or Xiaomi did not respond to the accusations of the legislator or to the commission’s findings. In September, Tim Cook the Apple CEO explained all of the privacy policies for the company.

On Friday, the commission said that the investigation was still not completed and that the results would be released at some point in the near future.

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