Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KRX:005930) has found itself in a fix with its flagship models posing issues to many of its users. Many Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 8 users have recently reported that their phones are spontaneously sending pictures from their gallery to their contacts. Many users have taken to Reddit and Samsung Support Forums to complain about this disturbing issue.
One Reddit user said that his entire photo gallery was sent over the text with no record of it on the messaging app, it only showed on Tmobile logs. Another Reddit user by the name Sfkn123 said that he and his wife experienced the same thing, that is both of their photos were sent to each other. Surprisingly, only the receiver gets notified, the sender doesn’t.
One thing that becomes clear while observing the complaints raised about this issue is that in all cases that pictures are sent automatically to random contacts. In fact, the sender receives no notification whatsoever before or after the sending the messages or pictures. The only way they come to know about it is when the receiver informs them. It has also been noticed that this issue is being observed in Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 8. However, it may affect other models too. The point that is not clear is that why has this issue has arisen and how come the phones are spontaneously sending pictures to random contacts.
It is interesting to note here that this issue coincides with US network Tmobile turning on the Google-backed Rich Communication Service (RCS). This is a new technology being launched slowly worldwide to replace conventional Messaging as a form of text communication and to also make sending multimedia messages easier.
Rich Communication Service is being introduced to various handsets recently and many users have reported that they started facing this issue following an update. However, according to T-Mobile’s schedule, the RCS update has not been introduced in Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 8. It has been introduced only to Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. So, on the whole, it isn’t clear if the issue is related to the RCS or not. However it may be possible that this bug arose due to an update, with its core cause being something unrelated to Rich Communication Service.
Users are concerned for their privacy and are looking for a way to keep their data safe until Samsung resolves this issues. Users can, for the time being, switch to a third party app and make it their default messaging app. They can also deny the Samsung Messaging app access to gallery and camera if they are using Android 6.X or above, by going on Settings > Apps > Permissions.
Samsung has acknowledged the issue and released a statement saying that the matter is being reviewed by Samsung thoroughly and till now they aren’t able to find out any hardware or software glitch that might be causing this issue. Their technical team is looking into the matter very carefully and the urge concerned customers to contact them directly.
This breach of privacy raises serious concern on the matter of data security. If smartphones are able to spontaneously send pictures to random contacts how safe is the other data we store in our phones. Users all over the world are waiting to Samsung to resolve this issues as soon as possible and provide the users with an affirmation that such an incident may not occur again.