Personally, I’m not a big fan of my devices taking the initiative to do things without being asked. But in the age of IoT, devices have a lot of power and autonomy. And now some Samsung phone users are finding that reality to be less than optimal: Their photos are being randomly shared with their contacts, without permission, via messaging.
Gizmodo reports, “One user on Reddit even claims that instead of sending one pic, Samsung Messages sent out their entire photo gallery to a contact in the middle of the night.” To make matters worse, users might not even be aware of any photo sharing because there is no evidence of the activity.
Earlier reports stated that the photos were transmitted by SMS. However, an update by The Verge suggests that MMS messages or SMS with a link could be responsible for the unauthorized sharing.
According to Gizmodo, the problem might be stemming from a conflict between Samsung Messages and Rich Communication Services (RCS) profile updates that were released by carriers recently.
Beyond possibly embarrassing individuals, the issue could also have business implications. It’s not inconceivable that the phone’s messaging app could leak classified information, such as documentation or prototypes relating to intellectual property that could be stored on the phone.
For those who prefer not to roll the dice with regard to their privacy, Gizmodo suggests two possible interim fixes:
- In your phone’s app settings, revoke Samsung Messages’ ability to access storage to stop it from sending photos or other data stored on your device.
- Switch to a different texting app like Android Messages or Textra. For now, neither of these are affected by the issue that’s causing Samsung’s texting app to go rogue.
Get the full story at Gizmodo.