News and photo source: www.geek.com
Own a Sony phone? You may be transmitting data back to servers in China without knowing it, even if you haven’t installed a single app.
That’s not something you’d necessarily expect from a Japanese company, particularly one that was already busted for shipping a rootkit in its software. Sony has been struggling to stay afloat in the smartphone market, and the last thing they need is a privacy debacle rattling consumer confidence.
So what’s going on? A Baidu folder is appearing on affected Sony phones. Delete it, reboot the phone, and the folder comes right back like the proverbial cat who wouldn’t stay away. The folder isn’t the real cause for concern, though; it’s the fact that the phones open a connection to servers in China that’s making users nervous.
Several Reddit users have reported finding this folder on their phones, too — and not necessarily phones made by Sony. One owns an HTC One M7, another an HTC One X, a few others the OnePlus One. There’s even a Nexus 5 owner claiming that he’s seen the Baidu folder pop up.
Now, obviously on a stock Nexus 5 running Google’s vanilla Android ROM there’s no Baidu folder and no software running that would make one appear after the fact. The most likely culprit, then, is a third-party app that’s being installed is communicating with Baidu servers and creating the folder.
As for why it’s happening on new Sony phones out of the box or immediately after performing a factory restore on them, that’s up to Sony to explain. Right now it looks as though it’s the MyXperia app that’s to blame — and some are guessing that Sony might be leaning on Baidu for location services.
For their part, Sony has promised to issue a software fix. Their wording in the Xperia forums doesn’t make it clear, though, whether they’re simply going to make sure the Baidu folder disappears and doesn’t come back or whether they’re going to shut down the mysterious connection completely.
Those of you who own a Sony phone, have seen the Baidu folder, and find the whole situation a tad unsettling, check out the Sony forum discussion for instructions on blocking MyXperia from establishing the connection. It’s a good workaround until Sony comes up with a permanent fix.