Thursday, September 28, 2023

Samsung’s repair mode hides personal data during a phone repair

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Handing over your phone — full of photos, texts, and other personal, private information — to a repair technician can be a pain. After all, the horrifying reality that your data was leaked during the repair process has happened to some people. SamMobile Found a press release from Samsung’s korean press site Samsung hopes to end your worries by introducing a new privacy feature (through Ars Technica). It gives technicians a limited amount of access to the inside of your phone. As it sounds, they have access to enough to make the solution, but not so much to leak your photos.

This feature is coming first to Galaxy S21 phones in South Korea. The company plans to expand support to other models in the future.

As noted in the translated press release, you can eventually enable the feature from the “Battery and Device Care” section of the built-in Settings app. After doing that, the phone will reboot into repair mode and hide your accounts, photos, and messages. Only the apps installed by default are accessible to the repairman or anyone else who touches your phone in the process. And only you can decide when to turn off repair mode.

So far, Samsung has not confirmed whether the repair mode will arrive in other regions or which phones will support the feature exactly. The edge has contacted Samsung for comment. Depending on what needs to be repaired, you can of course do the repair yourself when iFixit starts stocking official Samsung components later this summer.


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