April 22, 2024


Unlimited Technology

Google Employees May Be Violating Users’ Privacy

Multiple allegations on social media suggest that Google’s Pixel smartphones being sent to a repair center in Texas are sometimes being tampered with.

Google’s Pixel smartphones being sent in for repairs are allegedly being broken into by unknown suspects in what is being described as a privacy nightmare. Pixel is Google’s in-house smartphone brand that offers the purest and unadulterated Android experience that money can buy. The latest Pixel lineup includes the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro that were released earlier this year to a largely positive reception from users and the media alike.

Hackers breaking into private accounts and leaking sensitive documents and embarrassing photographs is nothing new. One of the biggest such scandals happened a few years ago when private photos of various celebrities were leaked online after hackers broke into their iCloud accounts. While most cloud services have since taken steps to prevent a repeat of such incidents, the latest controversy suggests that there’s still a long way to go to ensure privacy for all users.


Related: Google Pixel 6 Review: The Android Phone Most People Should Buy

Recent posts on social media and online message boards allege that phones being sent to a Google Pixel repair center in Texas are sometimes tampered with. One of the alleged victims is game designer Jane McGonigal, who described her ordeal in a series of tweets over the weekend. According to McGonigal, she sent in her Pixel 5a for repairs to an authorized facility in Texas a few weeks ago. Google said it never received the phone, even though FedEx tracking information showed the device reached the repair center weeks earlier. She was subsequently charged for a replacement device, although the money was later refunded following her complaint.

McGonigal’s Case Is Not The Only One

Google Pixel 6 Pro

McGonigal further claims that someone used the phone to log into her Gmail account and accessed her photographs on Google Photos, Drive and Dropbox. She further alleged that Pixel support did little to address her complaints. When contacted by The Verge for a comment, Google spokesperson Alex Moriconi said that the company is “investigating this claim.” Meanwhile, it remains unclear as to what happened to her Pixel 5a, how it was tampered with, who did it, and why Google denied receiving it in the first place.

McGonigal’s allegation is not the only one against the Texas repair shop. A Redditor also recently detailed a similar experience they faced after mailing their phone to what seems to be the same facility. The post has since been deleted, but McGonigal tweeted a screenshot of the post where the Redditor claimed that their phone was broken into and nude photographs of him and his wife were posted on social media in an egregious violation of privacy. The suspect also allegedly accessed the victim’s PayPal account and made a $5 transfer. In addition, the couple says they found unauthorized logins on Facebook and Instagram from Texas, and the last ping from that phone came from the same building where the phone was shipped.

Next: Two People Charged Over $20 Million In YouTube Music Royalty Scam

Source: Jane McGonigal/Twitter (1), (2), The Verge

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