Firmware error in Nokia 7 Plus shared user data with China

Firmware error in Nokia 7 Plus shared user data with China

HMD Global, a Finnish company that has a license for Nokia smartphones and related accessories, is in the eye of the storm. According to research, a single batch of Nokia 7 Plus devices contained a code error that shared data with China. The error has been corrected in the meantime.

NRK, the Norwegian television, revealed the error after a tip from a viewer. According to NRK, there are Nokia smartphones that collect user data every time a device is turned on, unlocked or taken out of sleep mode. The data includes GPS coordinates, network information, phone serial number and SIM card number.

The data was sent to a server in China on the network of China Telecom. HMD Global does not confirm who owns the url where everything was sent to: Remarkable: at the beginning of January, this mistake was already announced on Twitter. Then the findings were not picked up internationally and it disappeared into the Twitter Sea.

Official reaction

HMD Global has published a statement in the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. The company admits guilt and speaks of a code error where an activation package accidentally ended up on the firmware of some phones. It concerns a small batch of Nokia 7 Plus devices.

NRK’s research shows that the code responsible for the data collection in 2014 was written specifically for China Telecom. This raises the suspicion that the code may only be rolled out in China and that it is actually a code error in certain Nokia 7 Plus devices that were distributed here.

HMD Global has already announced that it has rolled out an update that eliminates the wrong code in the firmware. You can admire the full code on GitHub. The Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman of Finland is currently investigating the case.

Related: Nokia 8.1 review: stylish all-rounder scores points

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.