UPDATE (4:10 PM): Xiaomi Global has since sent a statement to address the situation. Read further below for more details.
ORIGINAL STORY (2:15 PM):
Smart cameras are useful tools for keeping an eye on your home while you’re away. That said, a bug could mean you end up seeing what’s going on in other people’s houses instead. Such was the case when a Xiaomi Mijia owner tried streaming the camera’s feed to his Google Nest Hub.
Reddit user Dio-V tried to stream the feed from his Xiaomi Mijia smart camera to his Google Nest Hub. The two devices were connected via his Google account, and the Mi Home app. Instead of his own feed, what he got were black and white stills from presumably other Mijia cameras. The images had Xiaomi Mijia timestamps, and showed a timezone that’s not his own. Some of the images appear to be partially corrupted as well.
Android Police reports that Google has since disabled all Mi Home product integrations, and commands to the Assistant. For now, it’s unclear if this is a bug in the interaction between the Mi Home service and Google, or if it’s a flaw that’s found only on either end.
Depending on the exact nature of the bug, this may be something that we never experience. After all, the Google Next hub is not officially available here. But if it’s an issue with the Mijia camera itself, or the Mi Home service, then may not be safe to continue getting live feeds from it. In turn, that will only limit it to the microSD card you’ve put in it, or other external storage solutions you’re using.
UPDATE (3 January / 4:10 PM):
Xiaomi Global has provided statement to us that explains in detail what exactly caused the incident to happen. It’s pretty lengthy, but here it is, reproduced in full:
Xiaomi has always prioritized our users’ privacy and information security. We are aware there was an issue of receiving stills while connecting Mi Home Security Camera Basic 1080p on Google Home hub. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused to our users.
Our team has since acted immediately to solve the issue and it is now fixed. Upon investigation, we have found out the issue was caused by a cache update on December 26, 2019, which was designed to improve camera streaming quality. This has only happened in extremely rare conditions. In this case, it happened during the integration between Mi Home Security Camera Basic 1080p and the Google Home Hub with a display screen under poor network conditions.
We have also found 1044 users were with such integrations and only a few with extremely poor network conditions might be affected. This issue will not happen if the camera is linked to the Xiaomi’s Mi Home app.
Xiaomi has communicated and fixed this issue with Google, and has also suspended this service until the root cause has been completely solved, to ensure that such issues will not happen again.
It is good to see that Xiaomi not only acted swiftly to solve the issue but has also provided an actual explanation of what actually triggered the problem.