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After a user sees strangers’ images, Google disables Xiaomi’s Nest integration

After a user sees strangers’ images, Google disables Xiaomi’s Nest integration


A Xiaomi camera user said his Nest Hub showed images from other homes

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Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

Google has disabled Xiaomi devices’ access to its Nest Hub and Assistant after a camera owner reported seeing unfamiliar still images apparently from other cameras, Google confirmed to The Verge. The issue was first reported by Android Police.

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

A user reported on Reddit that his newly purchased Xiaomi Mijia 1080p Smart IP security camera was showing what appeared to be still images from strangers’ homes if he tried to stream from the camera to a Google Nest Hub.

Reddit user Dio-V, who said via email to The Verge that they’re based in The Netherlands, said they saw images of an enclosed porch, a sleeping man in a chair, and a sleeping baby in a crib. Dio-V told The Verge he has been contacted by Google about the post, but so far had not heard from Xiaomi.

In October, Nest announced its device access program, which put strict requirements on which third-party devices can be used with its system. Currently, about two dozen security cameras can be used with Nest displays.

IP-based home security cameras have struggled with security from the beginning, starting with a number of easily exploitable issues in some early models. More recently, even major companies have struggled to secure footage. Just after Christmas, smart security camera manufacturer Wyze reported that an insecure server exposed 2.4 million customers’ data for more than three weeks. Motherboard reported that Ring’s cameras lacked some basic security measures to prevent unauthorized access.

As Android Police notes, it’s hard to verify where the problem occurred in the current Xiaomi incident, since all the information seems to be coming from Reddit, but Google is clearly taking it seriously.

Update January 3rd, 12:42PM ET: Xiaomi says it identified the glitch as a cache issue and is working with Google to resolve the problem.