It seems that smartphones from Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, and other companies have violated Taiwan’s privacy laws by collecting and sending back user data to company servers. Back in September, Taiwan’s National Communications Commission launched an investigation regarding cyber security threat concerns over products from foreign manufacturers.
NCC vice chairman Yu Hsiao-Cheng spoke at a legislative session held on Thursday, revealing that the commission had discovered problems with 12 phone models. “Almost every one of them will register with their company’s server," he said, but didn’t expand upon any specific issues.
The investigation was launched in response to media reports that smartphones from Chinese firm Xiaomi Technology were collecting user data and sending it back to Chinese servers without users’ permission.
The vice chairman went on to say that the government would fine offending companies up to $6.43 million, or ban the selling of their devices in Taiwan, if the companies didn’t modify their handsets.
Popular smartphones in Taiwan include Apple, Samsung, and HTC devices, which were among the top 5 best-selling handsets during the third quarter according to data firm IDC. However, neither Apple nor Samsung have commented on the recent findings of the current investigation. Meanwhile, when asked about the Taiwanese probe, Xiaomi said that its devices “never actively send any private user information without the users’ approval.” The company also stated that its phones are among the 12 most popular in Taiwan.
The findings of Taiwan’s investigation are expected to be released in two weeks.