Google Pixel account hacks prompt outcry over mail-in repair privacy

The previous two years have seen a surge in demand for cellular gadgets, however buying them hasn’t precisely been simple. Attempting to get gadgets serviced might have been even worse, with many firms and repair facilities being pressured to resort to mail-in strategies. These at all times include some dangers whereas the telephone is in transit, however few house owners most likely anticipated that their privateness can be violated within the course of. That’s the nightmare scenario that a minimum of two Google Pixel house owners have discovered themselves in, one with relatively delicate info printed for the world to see.


The primary incident flew below the radar after it was posted on Reddit final week. The account and put up have been eliminated, however Android Police was capable of take a snapshot of the grievance for proof. In a nutshell, the OP (authentic poster) claimed that his spouse despatched her damaged Pixel telephone in for repairs utilizing Google’s official mail-in service and found that nude images from the telephone have been posted to the spouse’s social media account.

On this case, the Pixel couldn’t be turned on with a view to wipe the telephone clear earlier than handing it over for repairs, as Google advises. It wasn’t clear however most likely implied that the telephone didn’t have any safety lock possibility set. It was, in different phrases, truthful sport for anybody who might restore the telephone, which was what allegedly occurred on this case.

The matter would have been written off as a fluke if it weren’t for a second incident, this time involving a extra fashionable person, sport designer and best-selling creator Jane McGonigal. The state of affairs was barely comparable, besides that the hijacker couldn’t discover any incriminating photographs to make use of. The wrongdoer on this case modified her e mail settings in order that safety warnings from Gmail and Dropbox would both be despatched to spam or deleted.

Jane McGonigal/Twitter

Google is reportedly trying into the matter, however the case remains to be large open. After all, two incidents don’t make a sample, however it’s suspicious that each circumstances concerned a certified service supplier in Texas. Even simply one in all these, nevertheless, is sufficient to land Google in courtroom, simply as how Apple needed to settle an analogous case earlier this yr (through The Verge) to the tune of tens of millions of {dollars}.

Google does give directions on what to do earlier than handing over a Pixel telephone for repairs, together with doing a manufacturing facility reset and securing your telephone. After all, that’s not at all times attainable, particularly if the telephone wouldn’t activate or if the display screen is totally clean. It’s at all times suggested to place a display screen lock on the telephone, even one thing so simple as a passcode, however the lack of such a safety measure is rarely an excuse for any licensed social gathering to interrupt into non-public property and steal issues.

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