Samsung is investigating reports that its default text messaging app on the Galaxy S8 and S9 smartphones is sending photos to random contacts without permission.
Users posted complaints on Reddit and Samsung’s support forums about a strange issue that appears to be silently sending photos to random contacts. The Samsung Messages app doesn’t show any sign of sending the photos, meaning the user is completely unaware of the picture messaging.
“Last night around 2.30am, my phone sent her my entire photo gallery over text but there was no record of it on my messages app. However, there was record of it on Tmobile logs. Why would this happen?” asked one Reddit user.
|A bug appears to be responsible for the issue affecting Samsung Galaxy S8 and S9 phones. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian
“Oddly enough, my wife’s phone did that last night, and mine did it the night before,” said Reddit user Sfkn123. “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.”The Guardian
Reddit user Moosan said something similar had happened to them. “My phone’s battery was super low overnight so maximum power saving had kicked in from a routine I set with Good Lock, and two or three people had been sent photos (just one each, and they were photos I had sent them in the past).”
While it’s not clear what is causing the random picture messaging, affected users reported receiving an update to the default text messaging app on their Samsung smartphones that enables Rich Communication Services (RCS). This is the long-awaited replacement for SMS that adds modernisation features such as picture messaging, typing indicators and read receipts.
Samsung said: “We are aware of the reports regarding this matter and our technical teams are looking into it.”
Affected users are encouraged to contact Samsung directly until a fix is issued.
In the meantime, users can switch to another text messaging app, such as Google’s Android Messages, or disable access to phone storage for the Samsung Messages app.