Xiaomi OTA update will require users to enable its cloud messaging service
F-Secure found that the entry-level Xiaomi Redmi 1S sent to the Beijing located server, information such as the name of the carrier, phone number, IMEI number (unique for each phone), phone numbers from the contacts list, and texts. Hugo Barra, who came over to Xiaomi from Google, said that this is all part of the manufacturer's MIUI cloud service, which allows your texts to be sent over the internet for free, instead of using your carrier's SMS pipeline.
Xiaomi had the service, which is similar to Apple's iMessage, on by default without any instructions to users. With an OTA update scheduled for today, each phone's owner will now have to enable the cloud messaging service. Wondering what happened to all of that information sent to those Chinese servers? According to Barra, the information was encrypted and stayed on the server only long enough to make sure that a text message was delivered immediately to its recipient.
source: F-Secure, +HugoBarra via TheNextWeb, Engadget