Xiaomi identifies and fixes privacy issue with its Home Security Camera

Yesterday a weird bug surfaced connected to Xiaomi’s Mi Home Security Camera Basic 1080p (yes, that’s the full name of the product). Essentially, a user on Reddit was able to see creepy (and grainy) black and white stills that seemed to come from other people’s cameras when requesting the feed of his own through Google Assistant on a Nest Hub smart display. Then Google responded quickly by temporarily disabling integrations with Xiaomi’s Mi Home service on its smart devices.

Xiaomi identifies and fixes issue with its Home Security Camera

Now Xiaomi got in touch with Android Police and issued the following statement on the matter:

Xiaomi has always prioritized our users’ privacy and information security. We are aware there was an issue of receiving stills while connecting Mi Home Security Camera Basic 1080p on Google Home hub. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused to our users.

Our team has since acted immediately to solve the issue and it is now fixed. Upon investigation, we have found out the issue was caused by a cache update on December 26, 2019, which was designed to improve camera streaming quality. This has only happened in extremely rare conditions. In this case, it happened during the integration between Mi Home Security Camera Basic 1080p and the Google Home Hub with a display screen under poor network conditions.

We have also found 1044 users were with such integrations and only a few with extremely poor network conditions might be affected. This issue will not happen if the camera is linked to the Xiaomi’s Mi Home app.

Xiaomi has communicated and fixed this issue with Google, and has also suspended this service until the root cause has been completely solved, to ensure that such issues will not happen again.

So it looks like the issue has been identified and fixed, but the root cause is still not “completely solved”. Until that happens, the service has been suspended. Hopefully it will all get fully resolved soon, as people really don’t need even more reasons to find smart home surveillance cameras just a little bit creepy. Or insecure.


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