HMD Global has managed the Nokia smartphone brand impressively well since it took over in December 2016, but now the Finnish company has found itself in hot water.
In a report published earlier today, Norway’s public broadcaster NRK claims to have found proof that certain Nokia smartphone have been transmitting unencrypted user information to China. Allegedly, on-device data such as GPS location, the device serial number, and even the user’s phone number were being transmitted back to a Chinese server.
The server in question was under the domain “vnet.cn,” which is reportedly managed by state-owned carrier China Telecom. From the look of things, every time the Nokia 7 Plus units were powered on, data would immediately be transferred over to the server. Similarly, simply turning on the display or unlocking the device would trigger the same process.
Fortunately for consumers, this issue was present only a “single batch” of Nokia 7 Plus units. Presumably, the smartphones were initially intended for the Chinese market but ultimately made it into the hands of European consumers. Moreover, since the issue has been raised, HMD Global has removed the infringing files from the devices.
As a result of this apparent slip-up, HMD Global is now being investigated by Finland’s data protection watchdog.