Some Samsung Phones Found To Be Sharing Users’ Photos Anonymously

Samsung Galaxy devices are sending users’ photos to random contacts without their knowledge.

Tech News
2 min read
Even worse, there’s no evidence on the user’s phone that the photos were sent.

According to various reports, a bug in Samsung's default messaging app is randomly sending pictures from the phone’s gallery to other contacts via SMS without giving any notification to users. This was first spotted by Gizmodo, when a handful of complaints was lodged on Reddit and the official Samsung forums by T-Mobile and AT&T carriers devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S9.

So far there have been no reports of this happening in India, but it would be prudent to keep a watch on these developments.

Last night around 2:30 am, my phone sent her my entire photo gallery over text but there was no record of it on my messages app. However, there was a record of it on T-Mobile logs. Why would this happen? Oddly enough, my wife’s phone did that last night, and mine did it the night before. I think it has something to do with the Samsung SMS app being updated from the Galaxy Store. When her phone texted me her gallery, it didn’t show up on her end and vice versa.
One of the complaints from Reddit
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.  
Samsung’s statement to Gizmodo

What Caused the Bug?

The apparent cause for this bug is recent RCS profile updates that have rolled out on Samsung Galaxy devices from carriers including T-Mobile and AT&T. It has likely messed up Samsung’s default messaging app. The update is to enhance the outdated SMS protocol with new features like better media sharing, typing indicators, and read receipts.

It’s not a T-Mobile issue.
T-Mobile’s statement to Gizmodo

In the meantime, Samsung Galaxy owners can fix this issue themselves in just two simple ways. Firstly, disable permissions to gallery for the the default text message app. Users can also switch to other alternate messaging apps like Android Messages, until Samsung rolls out an update to fix the issue.

(with inputs from Gizmodo, Reddit and TheVerge )

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