Apple phones violate privacy laws in Taiwan

Apple named among 12 brands that could face fines for collecting data in Taiwan

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Apple phones violate privacy laws in Taiwan Handset makers of the 12 brands could face fines of up to $6.43m or a ban unless they address the breaches. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
By  Helen Gaskell Published  December 7, 2014

Smartphones from Apple, Xiaomi and others have been violating Taiwan's privacy laws by collecting user data and sending it back to company servers, according to a government regulator.

Taiwan has so far identified a total of 12 phones that do not conform with its privacy standards and the handset makers of these brands could face fines of up to $6.43m or a ban unless they address the breaches, reported Reuters citing an official at the telecoms regulator.

Hsiao-Cheng Yu, vice chairman of Taiwan's National Communications Commision (NCC), did not name any more of the 12 brands, but said the investigation found that some of the smartphones could allow manufacturers to collect users' data without permission.

Others contained "imperfections" which do not conform with the law, Yu said. The NCC's findings will be released within weeks, he added.

The investigation was brought up after local legislator Chiu Chih-Wei pointed to security concerns with Xiaomi, a handset maker based in China. In August, Xiaomi apologised for causing the privacy issues, and made changes to the phone's software.

According to Reuters, Xiaomi said its devices "never actively send any private user information without the users' approval".

Taiwan-based HTC said it was working with the Taiwanese regulators to improve compliance with the required security standards and Samsung said in an emailed statement that it "considers the privacy and security of consumers' data a top priority".

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