Xiaomi has updated its pre-installed Mi Browser along with the Mi Browser Pro and Mint Browser on Google Play to allow users to switch on or off “aggregated data collection” while using incognito mode on smartphones.
For those unaware, security researchers Gabi Cirlig and Andrew Tierney last week had accused Xiaomi of tracking user’s browsing history, search engine queries, and more via its Mint Browser and Mi Browser Pro. The company was found tracking the device’s activities even when the phone’s browser was set to private mode or “incognito” mode.
Further, all the tracked data was compiled and being sent to remote servers in Singapore and Russia with the web domain registered and hosted in Beijing, where Xiaomi has its headquarters.
However, the Chinese company refuted the claims made by the researchers and termed the whole thing was misunderstood and misrepresented. It said that “the research claims are untrue” and that “privacy and security is of top concern.”
While Xiaomi did accept that it was collecting users’ browsing data to offer better user experience, it did mention that the aggregated usage statistics data collected from users was being anonymized. However, the researchers were still not convinced with the company’s response.
In its latest official blog post, Xiaomi has announced that it has updated Mi Browser/Mi Browser Pro to version 12.1.4 as well as Mint Browser to version 3.4.3. These software updates include an option in incognito mode for all users of both browsers to switch on/off the aggregated data collection.
By default, the browser will continue to collect aggregated usage behavior in regular browsing mode. To stop sharing your data with Xiaomi, you need to switch on Enhanced Incognito mode by going to Settings > Incognito mode > Enhanced Incognito mode > Toggle On.
We recommend our readers using Xiaomi smartphones or the Mi Browser/Mint Browser to consider updating all the apps and disabling the aggregated data collection option while in incognito mode.