Quite recently, the editorial staff of gg told you about an unpleasant situation that developed around Xiaomi smartphones after the statements of the Lithuanian intelligence services about remote moderation of content on user devices.
We shall remind, the question was about uploading to the user's devices of the special JSON-file with the list of "stop-words", according to which the phone blocks user's output of the relevant information. Topics related to Chinese independence, liberation of Tibet, etc. were subject to censorship, with a total of 449 prohibited phrases.
In response, Xiaomi officially stated, that its devices "do not censor user communication". The statement said that "Xiaomi adheres to the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)."
And now another Chinese manufacturer, namely Huawei, has decided to be proactive and issue a similar official statement.
Huawei has always adhered to the ethical principles, laws and regulations of the countries and regions in which it does business. Cybersecurity and information privacy are the company's business priorities. Huawei has significant achievements in data protection in over 170 countries and regions, providing services to over 3 billion users.
Huawei does not use or process data outside of devices. The company has a transparent policy regarding data from customers. They are kept to a minimum and are only used to improve the user experience and personalize devices.
Just like other app stores, AppGallery in Huawei smartphones collects and processes only relevant data. This allows users to search, install and manage third-party apps.
Petal Search and AppGallery app store are certified in accordance with European privacy standards under GDPR. Huawei claims that all these programs and apps are in the public domain, so users can download them. Huawei verifies their reliability to ensure users can safely download and function on HMS devices.
We respect the laws of each country and region where we operate. So we care about our customers, partners and all the people who use and are affected by our technology. We pay special attention to data processing.
- With all due respect, absolutely all manufacturers today use and process a lot of user data. This is necessary both for their cloud storage and for the functioning of the ecosystem as a whole. You can't get a smartphone to control a smart home without sending data from it to the company's servers. Therefore, Huawei's own highlighted statement looks a bit strange;
- The streamlined phrase about respecting each country's laws (emphasis added) is a stick with two ends. Apple and Google, for example, recently buckled under the demands of Russian authorities and removed some kind of "Navalny app" from their stores. You can talk as much as you like about respecting individual countries' laws, but this situation is going to pinch Apple's ass even harder. As soon as the company starts talking about scanning user-generated content for compliance with CSAM bases again, it will quickly get reminded of "respect for Russian laws" and will wonder how Apple will respond to the demand to compare user-generated photos with any other base under the threat of losing its market and criminal charges against its employees.
All in all, the Lithuanian secret service's statement has made more companies nervous than one might have guessed at first. The editorial staff of gg is keeping its hand on the pulse and following the situation with interest. As they say in Odessa, declaring principles and following them are two great differences.