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Your Galaxy phone probably won’t send your images to a random contact

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By Mark Jansen


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Galaxy S9 Plus
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Samsung might be pumping out some of the best Android phones in the world right now, but that doesn’t mean that they’re without their flaws. Your Galaxy smartphone may be sending images to random contacts — and even worse, there is no evidence that it even happened.

The issue seemingly stems from a problematic update to the Samsung Messages app, and multiple users on Reddit have complained that their entire gallery has been sent to certain contacts. Part of the issue is the fact that there’s no indication on the device that anything of the sort has happened — in fact, the only trace of the activity (outside of the messages on the recipient’s phone) can be found in text logs on your carrier account. The issue has been reported on the Galaxy S9, S9 Plus, and the Note 8. At this time, it’s not sure if the issue affects multiple carriers, but it seems that most complaints are with T-Mobile.

But before you scramble to delete any compromising images, you might not need to. While the widespread of devices indicates that any Galaxy device could be affected, it seems that it’s mostly T-Mobile users that are affected by the bug. What’s more, it seems clear from some sleuths on Reddit and Samsung’s official forums that the messages are only sent to people who are on the same plan. Most messages from affected users (including the original poster) note that the messages have only been sent to girlfriends and wives, indicating that it’s shared plans on T-Mobile that may be causing the issue. So unless you’re in that very specific camp, you’re unlikely to be unaffected. It’s most likely the issue is a part of the larger issues reported on Samsung Messages for T-Mobile users.

We reached out to Samsung for comment on this issue, and received this statement in reply: “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.”

If you want to be on the safe side, then there is a quick way that you can make sure it won’t happen to you. Simply open your Settings app, then hit Apps -> Samsung Messages > Permissions, and then revoke the Storage permission. This method will probably make your Samsung Messages app stop working entirely, but there are a bunch of great messaging apps out there, as well as Google’s Android Messages app that will work until the situation is resolved.

Updated on July 3: We added Samsung’s official statement on the matter.


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