Genshin Impact players discovered that miHoYo accounts were displaying uncensored mobile numbers when trying to recover passwords.
Reddit user TiltOnPlay that when attempting to recover their miHoYo account password from the developer’s website, their phone number (if linked to the account) was not censored. This means anyone could have attempted to re-send forgotten password information (then sent to the real account holder’s email or mobile) in order to find phone numbers.
Later, users quickly deduced that only some regions had their phone numbers censored, while North America, Europe, and possibly the region of Asia. After that, the user commented that the issue was seemingly fixed; with phone numbers censored.
“I’ve relinked my mobile number and now it seems to be asterisked partially,” TiltOnPlay stated. “Still going to keep it unlinked just in case. However, this issue most likely has been in the game for weeks if not since launch, the fact that mHY hasn’t said anything is very concerning.”
TiltOnPlay further suggested Two Factor Authentication, and that users provide feedback to the developer via the in-game feedback menu. At this time, miHoYo have not issued any statement on the matter.
This is not the first time the game has drawn ire. Due to the game’s developer being based in China, there were concerns of privacy due to the Chinese government’s infamous violations of human rights within their own borders (such as invasion of digital privacy), and allegations of them using games and programs to spy on foreigners overseas.
In late September miHoYo updated the Genshin Impact’s anti-cheat software to not continuously run even when the game had closed or was uninstalled. The developer stated they “realized that the default activation of this mechanism may have caused some privacy concerns for players.” However, they emphasized the software “does not process, save, or upload information in any way whatsoever.”
In early October, users found that the words Taiwan and Hong Kong were censored in the game’s multiplayer chat. For those unfamiliar, the Chinese government has a “One-China” policy. This means censorship and outright denial that Taiwan (originally known as the Republic of China) is an independent nation, and is part of the People’s Republic of China.
Likewise the citizens of Hong Kong have been protesting since 2019. They demand autonomy and independence from any Chinese government influence; particularly new laws that mean citizens can be deported to China if violating laws such as condemnation or criticism of the Chinese government.
Genshin Impact is available and free-to-play on Windows PC (via the official website), PlayStation 4, Android, iOS, and coming soon to Nintendo Switch.
UPDATE: GamesIndustry.biz has now reported on a statement issued by miHoYo. The statement reads “[The] team has already noticed the systematic issue which might accidentally reveal users’ phone number. [The] team took immediate action to fix the problem, and so far the issue should be resolved now.”
Image: Genshin Impact official website