Recently, Xiaomi was in news and it was not for very good reasons. The company got into a little bit of trouble when Forbes published an article regarding data collection by Xiaomi's proprietary browser on smartphones. Citing a researcher, the publication pointed out that Mi Browser on Xiaomi smartphones is collecting data even if you turn on the incognito mode. Xiaomi, being very quick to respond, came with an update that can stop your data from being collected in the incognito mode.
During this development, we reached out to Xiaomi India asking a few questions on its privacy policies. We even included queries from our readers and summarized them all in this article.
So, here's what Xiaomi said.
Mi Browser on Indian Handsets
Question: Does Xiaomi Mi Browser on Indian handsets collect data, what sort of data to improve the what sort of experience? is it only slow website loading or something else as well?
Xiaomi: No, not only to optimize the website loading speed, we use aggregated data to enhance the stability of our services to give users functions such as autofill suggestions.
What this means for Indian users: First of all, Mi browsers collect data on each handset it is installed. If we talk about why the data is being collected, well, the company says that the data is used to offer better autofill suggestions to users while they browse.
Data Gets Collected in Incognito Mode
Question: Does this data gets recorded in incognito mode as well?
Xiaomi: The aggregated data is collected only under incognito mode when “Enhanced incognito mode” toggle is turned on.
What this means for Indian users: Xiaomi came up with an update that adds a new feature in its browser's settings. This new feature comes under ‘enhanced incognito mode' and you will have to turn it off if you do not want your data to be collected.
Related Tip: How to Set Chrome as Default Browser on MIUI
Option To See Data Collected By Xiaomi
Question: Does the user have an option to see the data synced with Xiaomi? Also, can they delete that data fully or some part of it?
What this means for Indian users: You can check in the settings how your data is being synced with Xiaomi, but you CANNOT see what data is being collected by the company.
As the company says, you can revoke the authorization to delete the data. However, you will also have to take some extra steps to avoid your data collection.
Will ‘Do Not Track' Feature Come?
Question: Also, can they turn on Do Not Track for third party data collection within the browser?
Xiaomi: Thanks for your advice. Our browser team will study it. As always, Xiaomi welcomes users to participate in our product development and advancement. Listening to feedback from users and letting them take part in Xiaomi’s future have been at the core of our company from the beginning.
What this means for Indian users: As the company says that they listen to user feedback for their product advancement, we may also see a ‘Do Not Track' feature to stop third party data collection within the browser.
Delete All Your Collected Data
Question: Can they decide to completely opt-out of data collection of their browsing history in normal and or incognito mode?
Xiaomi: Yes, they can. We fully respect the user's choice and fully comply with the privacy law; all users can opt-out and delete their data by revoking authorization in the browser settings.
What this means for Indian users: As we have explained earlier, you will have to revoke the authorization, as well as, follow some extra steps such as remove it as your default browser.
Does It Record the URL?
Question: Does Mi Browser by default record the URL of the websites visit in incognito mode?
Xiaomi: No. The latest version of Mi Browser does not record the URL of the websites visited in incognito mode, by default.
What this means for Indian users: As you can read above, the latest version of the browser does not record the URLs in incognito mode.