Xiaomi has released updates for its Mi Browser, Mi Browser Pro and Mint Browser through the Google Play Store. The update disables data collection in incognito mode. Users can turn it back on for an ‘enhanced experience’.
The updates for the browsers are available, Xiaomi reports. It concerns version 12.1.4 of Mi Browser and Mi Browser Pro and version 3.4.3 of Mint Browser. The updates add an option to turn data collection on or off. This option is disabled by default, so it is an opt-in.
Xiaomi added the feature to its browsers after Forbes published an article last week about Xiaomi’s data collection in its browsers. According to security researchers, Xiaomi’s browsers send a large amount of data to, among other things, servers of Alibaba, which Xiaomi hires. This also happens in incognito mode.
In several comments, Xiaomi has denied wrongly collecting personal data. According to the Chinese manufacturer, this concerns anonymized and encrypted data and is done with the consent of the users. However, the researchers state that the data is only encoded with base64 and can therefore be retrieved. The data could also be easily traced back to persons by collecting metadata.
Update 09:29: It is an opt-in and not an opt-out as stated earlier in the article. Data collection in incognito mode is disabled by default with new browser versions. Users can turn it on for a so-called Enhanced Incognito Mode.