Google's mobile phone repair service publishes user photos
Google's mobile phone repair service publishes user photos

After game designer Jane McGonigal sent her Pixel 5a to Google for repair, someone grabbed her device and hacked it.

This is at least the second report in a few weeks that someone sent in a Google phone to get it fixed. But it is used to reveal private information and photos.

McGonigal tweeted detailed information about the situation. She advised other users not to send their phones through the company for repair.

In October, McGonigal sent her broken phone to the official Pixel repair center in Texas. Then she said on Twitter that Google said she hadn't received the call. Over the next few weeks, she was billed for hardware replacement.

However, according to McGonigal, FedEx tracking information shows that the device arrived at the facility a few weeks ago.

Late Friday night, hours after asking for a refund, someone apparently used a lost phone to clear a two-factor authentication check and log into several of their accounts, including Dropbox and Gmail.

This sent email security alerts to your McGonigal backup account. However, it is assumed that anyone with a mobile phone can use it to access different email addresses.

"The photos they opened showed me in a bathing suit," Magnagle wrote. You deleted the Google Security Notice from your backup email account.

"We are investigating the allegation," Google spokesman Alex Morricone said in a statement. It is not clear if the device was intercepted in a repair shop or in transit, or to whom it now belongs.

Google recommends wiping the device before sending

The company's official repair manual recommends that you backup the device and then wipe it before sending it in. However, as McGonigal points out, it depends on the degree of damage, which is either difficult or impossible.

When we deliver equipment for repair, this situation reminds us of safety concerns. There are precedents for such activities. In June of that year, Apple paid a woman millions of dollars after a service technician posted a nude photo of her on Facebook.

Apple recently announced that it has started selling repair kits. This gives users the option to have their phone repaired or someone they trust to have the work done instead of sending it to an Apple Store.

For Pixel phones, the official service options are local email service or, in certain countries, authorized service providers.

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