HMD Global’s multiple Nokia-branded smartphones seem to be sending unencrypted information to Chinese servers. Finland’s data protection watchdog is now investigating the claims about Nokia phones sending information to China.
The whole matter came into limelight when Norwegian broadcaster NRK revealed that it has proof about some Nokia smartphones, especially Nokia 7 Plus, are sending unencrypted data to servers of state-owned China Telecom. “Based on our initial analysis it appears that personal data has also been transferred (to China),” Reijo Aarnio, Finland’s data protection ombudsman, told the news agency STT.
NRK claims that the units were sending user’s geographical position, SIM card numbers and device’s serial number every time the phone was switched on. The broadcaster got a tip from one of its readers, Henrik Austad, who noticed that his Nokia 7 Plus unit is sending data to a server in China.
The broadcaster has revealed that HMD has “admitted that an unspecified number of Nokia 7 Plus phones had sent data to the Chinese server.” The brand says that there had been a software glitch with one of the batches of Nokia 7 Plus, which allowed the units to send information to Chinese servers. However, the company denied that no personal information of the users were sent to the servers. The brand further revealed that the glitch was fixed with an update rolled out in February and it claims that almost all affected phones had installed the fix.
“We can confirm that no personally identifiable information has been shared with any third party,” HMD Global said in an email to Reuters. “Such data was never processed and no person could have been identified based on this data,” the company added.