Google blocks a certain Xiaomi app from Play Store; is it collecting user data?

Google's Play Store is blocking the Quick Apps app from Xiaomi with a warning to users stating that it can collect data and track users

Xiaomi has fallen under some more bad light again. Recently, several Xiaomi users received a warning from the Google Play Store when trying to update an app called Quick Apps. This is a system app that's only available on Xiaomi and Redmi devices running MIUI. According to the warning message displayed by Play Protect, the app can apparently collect data, which can then be used to track the users.

Xiaomi File photo (IANS) IANS

Xiaomi Quick Apps violating privacy?

This is the second time this year that Xiaomi's Quick Apps has appeared in news headlines for bad reasons. Earlier this year, a report suggested that the app had access to over 55 system permissions, including recording of calls, video calls, storing SIM information, IMEI numbers, and more. All of this can be used to show targeted ads to users. Quick Apps is a system app and cannot be uninstalled by users.

MIUI has known to include a lot of bloatware and ads, which appear randomly throughout the system. Xiaomi had admitted that it does show ads in MIUI as a way to make some profits. The company doesn't have a huge margin when it comes to device sales and hence resorts to advertisements to earn extra revenue.

Google's Play Protect scans all apps for malware, even if it is a system app. MIUI uses the Play Store to send updates for its system apps, including Quick Apps, but the latest update has now been blocked. If you're seeing this error message on your Xiaomi device, we would recommend not to install the update for now. However, you can still go ahead and install the app as Play Store does provide the option to install it anyway.

Xiaomi Quick Apps blocked by Google
Twitter user @yas_yalamudi

Xiaomi did release a statement saying that there's nothing users should worry about and that the Quick Apps app is safe to use. It further stated that it is in touch with Google regarding this error. Google recently updated its Play Protect algorithm, which could be the reason why the update is being blocked. However, Google hasn't said anything on this matter yet, but it does seem like a revision to its Play Protect algorithm could have blocked the Quick Apps app being blocked.