Google Disables Xiaomi Access to Assistant, Home, and Nest

Posted on January 3, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Smart Home with 7 Comments

Google has temporarily disabled Xiaomi’s access to its Assistant and Home and Nest devices after a security breach: The Chinese electronics giant was mysteriously—and creepily—transmitting still images from other people’s home security cameras, including images of people sleeping.

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

News of the Xiaomi transgression, which was obviously inadvertent, first came via Reddit, where users reported that they were seeing images from other people’s Xiaomi security cameras via Google Home/Nest devices and Google Assistant. But it’s also troubling that such a mistake can be made at all.

I’m not aware of any Xiaomi comment or explanation for this issue. But Google has indeed disabled all Xiaomi Mi Home product integrations with Google Home, Nest, and Assistant. Am curious to see what the resolution is here.

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Comments (7)

7 responses to “Google Disables Xiaomi Access to Assistant, Home, and Nest”

  1. wright_is

    Xiaomi's press statement said they made some changes to the cache system on their server for people with weak internet connections to improve quality and who were attached to Google's Home Hub system. They said that that was a total of just over 1,000 people with this connection and a lower number of those had low-bandwidth connections.

    They have cured the problem, but they are leaving the connection to Google's systems closed until Google and Xiaomi can get to the root cause.

    The problem doesn't affect people using Xiaomi's own Mi Home app to control the $38 cameras.

  2. bob_shutts

    As much as we all like conspiracy theories, this sounds like a glitch.

  3. terry jones

    If you're dumb enough to trust google with surveillance cameras inside your home, you're getting exactly what you deserve.

  4. tboggs13

    Was it a glitch or was Xiaomi hacked. As we connect more and more services together, we are creating more and more entry points to our data and privacy. So far it appears the trust that we have granted to Facebook, Google, Amazon and others to contain that flow of data is not warranted.

    • wright_is

      In reply to tboggs13:

      I posted on the Premium comments, Xiaomi said it was a change in their caching software for low-bandwidth users on Google Home Hub. Closing off access affected 1,044 users but only a handful were on low band-width connections and were affected by the bug.

      They have sorted the problem and are waiting to give access back, until the root cause of the problems has been investigated by Google and themselves.

      Users of the camera who use the Mi Home app are not affected by the problem.