MANILA, Philippines – In a time of data leaks and privacy breaches, nothing is more unsettling than finding out that your photos are being shared to your contacts without your permission. This is exactly what some Samsung devices are doing as reported by a number of different users online.
“Last night around 2:30 a.m., my phone sent her my entire photo gallery over text but there was no record of it on my messages app. However, there was record of it on mobile logs,” one Redditor posted less than a week ago.
This doesn’t seem to be an isolated case as some users have commented in the same post that they too have experienced the problem.
Going by the reports, the bug appears to be originating from Samsung Messages, the Samsung Galaxy line’s default messaging app, that causes it to send photos or even the entire gallery to a user’s contacts via SMS. What’s even worse is that the app reportedly leaves no evidence of photos being sent, which means users won’t know when their phone may have unwittingly sent sensitive photos to a friend or co-worker until some time has passed.
While most of the reports are coming from Samsung Galaxy S9, S9+, and Note 8 users, the problem may plague other devices with Samsung Messages as well.
It’s still unclear what triggered the bug or how it works. What’s clear is that the bug is not device-specific or network-specific, with speculation regarding the cause of the bug revolving around recent Samsung Messages updates.
Samsung has acknowledged the issue in a statement released to US outlets such as The Washington Post: “We are aware of the reports regarding this matter and our technical teams are looking into it. Concerned customers are encouraged to contact us directly at 1–800-SAMSUNG.”
Samsung Philippines has also responded about the issue, saying that the company has “reviewed this matter thoroughly,” and that there were “no hardware nor software issues found to be relevant to this particular case.”
“While there have been no known similar customer reports globally, we will continue to investigate this issue further. We encourage any customers who may have questions or concerns to contact their local customer service center at (02) 422-2111 or through our toll-free numbers: 1-800-10-7267864 (PLDT toll-free) and 1-800-8-7267864 (Globe toll-free),” advises Samsung Philippines.
Samsung Philippines has also said that there have been no cases reported to them outside of the Reddit and Samsung Community Forum posts.
No solution has been publicly announced by the tech giant as of writing other than calling their hotlines. So for Samsung Galaxy users, this means that the best way to currently get around the bug is to avoid Samsung Messages entirely or revoke its permission to access your photo gallery until the company can officially say that the bug has been ironed out. – Rappler.com