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Google temporarily disables Xiaomi Mi Home integration for Assistant-enabled devices, company responds

Google has disabled Xiaomi Mi Home devices integration for Assistant-enabled devices after a camera streamed content from random people.

  • Published: January 3, 2020 10:19 AM IST
Google Nest Hub

Update – “Xiaomi has always prioritized our users’ privacy and information security. We are aware there was an issue of receiving stills while connecting Mi Home Security Camera Basic 1080p on Google Home hub. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused to our users. Also Read - Xiaomi MIJIA LED makeup mirror launched: Check features

Our team has since acted immediately to solve the issue and it is now fixed. Upon investigation, we have found out the issue was caused by a cache update on December 26, 2019, which was designed to improve camera streaming quality. This has only happened in extremely rare conditions. In this case, it happened during the integration between Mi Home Security Camera Basic 1080p and the Google Home Hub with a display screen under poor network conditions. Also Read - Google Nest Hub Review: A good alternative over Amazon Echo Show 5

We have also found 1044 users were with such integrations and only a few with extremely poor network conditions might be affected. This issue will not happen if the camera is linked to the Xiaomi’s Mi Home app. Xiaomi has communicated and fixed this issue with Google, and has also suspended this service until the root cause has been completely solved, to ensure that such issues will not happen again.” Also Read - Syska Google Home Mini Combo now available on Flipkart; details

Google has temporarily killed the Mi Home integration with Google Assistant. The integration was dropped because of a creepy incident involving a Google Nest Hub and a Xiaomi Mijia smart security camera. Smart home devices are becoming a new emerging trend in the consumer electronics segment. While they are springing out from a number of major brands, the security aspect remains a matter of contention. In a new incident, a Xiaomi Mijia camera owner has been getting still images from other random people’s homes. This reportedly happens while trying to stream content from his camera to a Google Nest Hub.

The images posted on Reddit include stills of people sleeping and that of an infant in a cradle. According to Android Police, Google has completely disabled Xiaomi integration for Google Home and the Assistant. The decision has been taken for the time being as the search giant works to resolve the issue with Xiaomi. The issue was first reported Redditor going by the username /r/Dio-V and claimed that it affects his Xiaomi Mijia 1080p Smart IP Security Camera. The device can be linked to a Google account and used with Google Next devices through Mi Home app.

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It is not clear when Dio-V started seeing feed from random people on his Google Nest Hub device. In the Reddit post, he does state that both the Nest Hub and the Mijia camera were newly purchased. The camera, in particular, was purchased from AliExpress and Dio-V notes that it is running firmware version 3.5.1_00.66. When attempting to access a video feed from his connected camera, Dio-V was provided with a random video. Occasionally, he reports seeing a corrupted black and white still image from another home.

Google temporarily disables Xiaomi Mi Home integration

When I load the Xiaomi camera in my Google home hub I get stills from other people’s homes!! from r/googlehome

The examples posted on Reddit show some disturbingly clear image including one with a sleeping baby. There is also an image with a security camera’s view of an enclosed porch while in another, a man is seemingly asleep in a chair. Dio-V notes that the random still images being fed to his Nest Hub have Xiaomi/Mijia branded date or timestamps and different time zone. There is also a video to prove that this is not a prank or a hoax. There seems to be something wrong with the Google Home or Assistant integration with Xiaomi security camera.

Photo: Reddit

Photo: Reddit

“We’re aware of the issue and are in contact with Xiaomi to work on a fix. In the meantime, we’re disabling Xiaomi integrations on our devices,” Google told Android Police in a statement.

Google is not taking any risk and has decided to disable all Mi Home product integrations or commands available for the Assistant. Dio-V has also further confirmed that the search giant has disabled all functionality for Mi Home devices through Assistant. He confirms that his camera is no longer working on his Nest Hub device. We have reached out to both Xiaomi and Google for further update on the issue.

This isn’t the first smart home security cameras are experiencing such an issue. Some used Nest cameras were found to remain linked to an original owner’s account. This provided the old owner a glimpse into the new purchaser’s home. Smart security cameras maker Wyze admitted recently that it stored unsecured user data in a publicly accessible format. It has also been proven that these smart home devices could be accessed using laser. With smart home devices becoming best sellers during holiday sales, security remains a tipping point.

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  • Published Date: January 3, 2020 10:19 AM IST

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