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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 15 October 2018

Why are some Samsung mobile phones sending users' photos to random contacts?  

Samsung says it is 'looking into' this reported bug 

The Samsung S9 is one of the devices believed to be susceptible to the bug 
The Samsung S9 is one of the devices believed to be susceptible to the bug 

Samsung has been forced to investigate a number of claims that some of its mobile phone models are randomly sending photos to users’ contacts via the default text messaging app. Worse, the user doesn’t even know it’s happened until the person who received the photos informs them.

The problem was first raised last week on Reddit, as well as on some Samsung forums, with the majority of complaints relating to the Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ models.

One Reddit user wrote: “Last night around 2.30am, my phone sent my entire photo gallery over text but there was no record of it on my messaging app. However, there was record of it on T-Mobile logs. Why would this happen?”

Another replied: “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.”

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In a statement to the technology website Gizmodo, Samsung said: “We are aware of the reports regarding this matter and our technical teams are looking into it.”

It is thought that the bug might have been caused by an update to the default text messaging app, which enables Rich Communications Services (RCS). RCS is supposed to improve text messaging with features such as improved media sharing.

Since the majority of complaints appear also to involve T-Mobile, a service provider not available here, Samsung users in the UAE are unlikely to be affected by this bug. T-Mobile, however, released a statement advising users to "check in with Samsung on this, it’s not a T-Mobile issue".

If you are concerned, though, technology websites are suggesting two solutions. You can either disable the Samsung messaging app’s access to phone storage, via your phone’s app settings; or switch to a different texting app, such as Android Messages.