Samsung mobile phones have been randomly sending photos to people on users’ contacts list without permission, according to disgrunted handset owners.
Users of Galaxy S9, S9+ and Note 8 handsets have posted complaints on Reddit and on Samsung’s official support boards, claiming that Samsung Messages, the default texting app for Galaxy devices, has been “silently sending photos to random contacts”, says The Guardian. The app “doesn’t show any sign of sending the photos, meaning the user is completely unaware of the picture messaging”, the newspaper adds.
In one instance, “a Reddit user said that his Galaxy S9+ sent his entire photo gallery to his girlfriend in the middle of the night”, says Slate.
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“Another user said that both his and his wife’s phones spontaneously sent photos to each other,” claims the news site.
It’s not clear how many devices have been affected by the issue but “if it is a bug, it would be a major privacy violation”, says The Washington Post.
Samsung has released a statement saying that the company is “aware of the reports regarding this matter” and that its technical teams are “looking into it”.
Affected users are encouraged to contact Samsung directly until a fix is issued.
The Guardian suggests that users can switch to another text messaging app, such as Google’s Android Messages, or disable access to phone storage for the Samsung Messages app.
Users can disable Samsung’s message permissions by going to Settings -> Apps -> Samsung Messages -> Permissions -> Storage.
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