Finnish authorities to investigate Nokia-branded phones sending data to China

The Finnish data protection regulator confirmed that it is investigating phones with the Nokia brand of HMD Global for reports that it was found to send unencrypted data to a Chinese server. The details came up for the first time after a user, Henrik Austad, warned the Norwegian radio station NRK who investigated the violation, Reuters reports.

NRK the investigation revealed that the contacted server was associated with the domain "vnet.cn", which is linked to the state telecommunications company, China Telecom. The Nokia 7 Plus, a phone launched for the first time in March of last year, sent the data in an unencrypted format.

Responding to the report, HMD Global – which makes Nokia branded phones licensed by Nokia – admitted that the violation occurred and said it was caused by "an error in the software packaging process". However, it sought to minimize its importance, saying that only "a single batch of a device model" was affected, and that "no personally identifiable information was shared with any third party." However, HMD has not explained why data was being sent to a Chinese server.

Although the error was corrected in February, the Finnish ombudsman will investigate whether any personal information was sent, as well as whether there was any legal justification for doing so.

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