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After getting into payday lending, Xiaomi widens user data scope

Xiaomi has updated its privacy policy for India and the US and is collecting a lot more data within that policy than it used to, Gadgets Now reports. For instance, Xiaomi now collects financial information like bank account numbers and credit card information. The company clarifies in the policy that this information is only needed to complete purchases. But then, it also asks for “social information”, like:

For example, current employer, current job title, education background, professional training background etc.

Read the policy here. The older policy — which started to be in force on May 6, 2018 — saved by the Internet Archive and retrieved by Gadgets Now, is available here. The policy was updated again in the same month on May 25. The social and financial data clauses, which were not there in the version of the policy as of the 6th, were quickly added later. It’s not clear if notice was provided to users — the second version of the updated policy is opt-out, meaning users have to email Xiaomi to delete their account if they’re not okay with that policy. MediaNama has reached out to Xiaomi for clarity on these changes; we will update this post if they respond.

Payday lending bid

This update comes as Xiaomi enters the world of AI-based payday lending with KreditBee. KreditBee uses social media data to assess creditworthiness — in fact, it urges people to “complete” their social media profiles with employer and education data for a better shot at getting a loan. This could be the possible reason for the update in the policy, but it is usual practice for partnered third-party services to have a separate section in the privacy policy. For instance, WhatsApp’s privacy policy has a separate section for UPI payments in India, which it runs with technology licensed from ICICI Bank. Since the Xiaomi–KreditBee partnership also doesn’t extend to the US, it’s unclear why the same terms update has happened there too.

This also comes amid concerns that Facebook shared a lot of information about users with foreign-headquartered phone manufacturers in the US. This development, reported by the New York Times, also involves data shared with Huawei, a phone maker that US intelligence has declared a national security threat.

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    © 2008-2018 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ