According to HMD Global, which bought the Nokia phone business from Microsoft in 2016, a limited number of Nokia devices have been communicating by mistake to "a third party server".
According to NRK, Nokia had admitted that "an unspecified number of Nokia 7 Plus phones had sent data to the Chinese server", without disclosing who owned the server. Monitoring the traffic on his device, he discovered that it was sending a packet of data to a remote server, a server based in China.
While the Nokia phone maker has since issued a software update addressing the issue, Reuters reports that the Finnish data protection ombudsman isn't sweeping this under the carpet saying it will launch an investigation to ascertain if there was indeed a violation of GDPR law.
The server in question was under the domain "vnet.cn", which is reportedly managed by state-owned carrier China Telecom. Similarly, simply turning on the display or unlocking the device would trigger the same process.
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Despite HMD's claims to the contrary, Ombudsman Reijo Aarnio will still be investigating to assess whether any personal information was disclosed in the breach.
The Finnish-owned company HMD Global, which manufactures Nokia handsets and has recently seen robust sales growth on the Chinese market, told NRK that some information from the 7 Plus handset has been sent to China, but denied that individual users can be identified from the data. Moreover, since the issue has been raised, HMD Global has removed the infringing files from the devices.
'This has now been fixed and nearly any device affected by this error has now installed the update.
The Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman of Finland is now investigating the incident.