How Samsung will protect your personal data when your smartphone goes to service

How Samsung will protect your personal data when your smartphone goes to service

The Korean manufacturer has just rolled out a new feature in One UI 5. The Android overlay now has a “Repair Mode” which locks access to your personal data when your smartphone goes for repair.

Each time a device goes for repair, the same dilemma arises: should you empty it of all the data it contains, or can you trust the technician who will take care of it not to dig into your Photo album ? Samsung is in the process of fixing the problem on some of its terminals using its OneUI 5 overlay.

Lock access to data before sending to after-sales service

The Korean manufacturer has just formalized the imminent deployment of its “Repair Mode” which we already told you about this summer. Thanks to it, it is possible to lock access to personal data such as photos, bank details, address book or even messages before sending your device for repair.

“All of our lives are on our phones, from credit card information to family photos. With Maintenance Mode, we’re making sure Galaxy device users can keep their privacy, even if they have to give their phone to a third party.” said Seungwon Shin, Vice President and Head of Mobile Security Team at Samsung, in a statement.

A separate user session from yours

Concretely, the Repair Mode being deployed in OneUI 5 allows you to create a user account separate from yours. Samsung explains that thanks to him, the technician can use all the functionalities of the device to test the proper functioning of the latter, without however being able to access your private data. To activate it, you must go to the Settings of the device, then in the Battery and maintenance menu of the device, select Repair mode to finally activate the option.

© Samsung

After restarting, the smartphone operates in restricted mode, without it being possible to access personal information, documents, photos or even messages. In addition, the technician in charge of the repair will not be able to access the applications installed on the smartphone either. However, it will be possible to download and install them from the Galaxy Store. However, all installed applications and data generated in Repair Mode will also be automatically deleted once the smartphone is restarted on your user session.

Tested this summer in Korea on the Galaxy S21 and launched in China last September, Repair Mode is being rolled out to select devices using One UI 5, including the Galaxy S21 and S22. Finally, the manufacturer indicates that the rollout of this feature will be done gradually over the next few years, with an extended rollout on other Galaxy devices in the course of 2023.

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