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New Samsung privacy feature blocks access to personal files during repairs

By Liu Hongzuo - on 27 Oct 2022, 1:08pm

New Samsung privacy feature blocks access to personal files during repairs

Maintenance Mode on Samsung Galaxy devices.

Sending in a Samsung phone for repairs? There’s a new feature that keeps your data away from prying eyes while you do so.

On 25 October 2022, Samsung announced an all-new Maintenance Mode for its Galaxy devices. The feature allows users to block access to on-device information like photos, messages, documents, and contacts, when they send their Samsung gadgets in for repairs.

Once toggled on, the repairer cannot retrieve user-installed apps or get access to the owner’s files. When the owner disables Maintenance Mode, all Galaxy Store apps installed by the repairperson will also be automatically deleted, along with any other data or accounts.

Source: Samsung.

Maintenance Mode is found under the device’s Settings app, within the “Battery and Device Care” section. Once triggered, the device will require a reboot. Personal files and information will be restricted after restarting the device.

“Our whole lives are on our phones, from credit card information to family photos. With Maintenance Mode, we are giving extra reassurance that Galaxy users can keep their privacy, even if they hand their phone to someone,” said Seungwon Shin, VP and Head of Security Team at Mobile eXperience Business, Samsung Electronics.


Maintenance Mode coming soon

For a start, Maintenance Mode will be available on select handsets running One UI 5, with its rollout happening across the next few months. It will be available to other Galaxy devices in 2023.

Samsung has already trialled the feature in Korea back in July 2022 and launched it in China in September.

The local availability of Maintenance Mode will be shared at a later date.


Source: Samsung (newsroom)

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