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When popular Chinese handset-maker Xiaomi Inc. admitted that its devices were sending users' personal information back to a server in China, it prompted howls of protest and an investigation by Taiwan's government.All these companies could have programmed the device to send data "back home" to them over a wireless or cellular network – with or without the user's knowledge or consent. In Xiaomi's case, as soon as a user booted up their device it started sending personal data "back home". Xiaomi is by no means alone in grabbing data from your phone as soon as you switch it on.Some users fear it's not just the carriers collecting such detailed data.Three years ago, users were alarmed to hear that U.S. carriers preinstalled an app from a company called Carrier IQ that appeared to transmit personal data to the carrier. Despite stricter controls over apps in Apple's app store, FireEye's Boland says his company continues to find malicious apps for the iOS platform, and apps that send sensitive data without the user knowing.
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