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HMD Global Clarifies How Data From Some Nokia 7 Plus Phones Ended up in China

The software update to fix the issue has already been rolled out.

Vishal Mathur |

Updated:March 25, 2019, 1:40 PM IST
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HMD Global Clarifies How Data From Some Nokia 7 Plus Phones Ended up in China
The software update to fix the issue has already been rolled out.
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Just a few days after fairly worrying reports that Nokia 7 Plus smartphones have been found to be sharing user data with servers in China, HMD Global has issued a clarification on the matter. Nokia says that the device activation client which was meant for the Chinese variant of the Nokia 7 Plus phones was mistakenly included in the software package of a single batch of Nokia 7 Plus phones which were sold outside of China.

“Due to this mistake, these devices were erroneously trying to send device activation data to a third party server. However, such data was never processed, and no person could have been identified based on this data,” HMD Global says in a statement shared with News18. The company further goes on to specify that in no instance was any personally identifiable information shared with any third-party in China. The data in question in this case, according to HMD Global, is the activation data which is used by the company to register the phone for warranty when it is used for the first time, as well as phone diagnostics. While this data is collected from all phones sold by HMD Global (and indeed other phone makers too), the difference is that the Nokia 7 Plus variants sold in China transmit this data to a server located within China. This is demanded by the Chinese Cyber Security laws, which demand that data originating from China must be stored on a server in China.

HMD Global also clarifies this activation and diagnostic data collected from phones sold in India, US and Europe is stored on a server based in Singapore. The company confirms that it adheres to the strict General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws in Singapore. “There is also some speculation about other Nokia phones sharing similar data with third-party servers. We can confirm that this is incorrect speculation and no Nokia phones are impacted. All device data of Nokia Phones other than the China variant is stored at HMD Global’s servers in Singapore provided by Amazon Web Services. HMD Global takes the security and privacy of its consumers seriously and complies with all applicable privacy laws. Data collected from our devices is stored safely in accordance with applicable laws,” says Nokia in an official statement.

HMD Global says this issue has been fixed in February 2019 via a software update, which has now been rolled out to all impacted Nokia 7 Plus phones.

But how would you check if your phone is running the software that has fixed the issue? On your Nokia 7 Plus phone, go to Settings -> System -> About Phone -> Build Number. If the build number here is “00WW_3_39B_SP03” or “00WW_3_22C_SP05”, that means the fix has already been installed on your Nokia 7 Plus. If not, you can check for new updates to get this patch.
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