Google is now investigating its Pixel mail-in repair service after reports of compromised photos, dropbox, and email accounts have surfaced. With that, a certain developer known as Jane McGonigal, shared her experience when it came to her account.
Google Pixel In-Mail Repair Service
Rogue repair staff aren't actually limited to just one company. As per an article by The Verge, the author and developer Jane McGonical shared what happened when she tried the Google Pixel mail-in repair service.
As per McGonigal, she stated that her internet accounts ended up compromised once she mailed her Pixel 5a to Google to get the device serviced. She stated that intruders were able to access her Google services, dropbox, and even another email account.
Activity Logs Show Attempted Searches
McGonigal pointed out that the activity logs showed access to certain semi-revealing photos in an attempt to find other potentially more revealing photos. She stated that the incident happened long after her device was already out of Google's facility.
According to the story by Engadget, the attempt also happened despite making efforts to wipe the phone and even lock the device through Google's system. To add, she was not able to turn the phone on as she would normally do in order to perform a reset.
Google Security Alerts Marked as Spam
The perpetrator, on the other hand, took pains to try to cover their tracks through marking Google security alerts as spam and even trying to delete the notices in backup email accounts. To address the issue, Google has officially confirmed that the company is now investigating the claim.
To add, McGonigal has also heard the same through certain unofficial sources, but has remained uncontacted during the time of writing. With that, the incident with McGonigal is said to be the second incident to be reported in the last two weeks.
Mail-in Service Allegations
The allegations are highlighting the problem with mail-in service. As per the publication Engadget, users can't always trust that technicians will respect their privacy and it also isn't that certain that users will be able to scrub their data.
Engadget notes that retail support is also not a guarantee as well. With that, short of finding a technician that is trustworthy, the best option would be for owners to fix the device themselves which is also not practical for a lot of people.
Invitation to Launch Class Action Lawsuit
In a Twitter thread, Jane McGonigal said that users wouldn't send their Google devices in for warranty repair/replacement. She then shared how she was able to see the activity log on her phone showing someone trying to break into her gmail, drive, photos backup, and dropbox.
To add to her thread, McGonigal said that if there are others looking to start a class action lawsuit directly against Google for this issue, they should contact her.
If someone is interested in starting a class action lawsuit against Google for this, feel free to contact me.— Jane McGonigal (@avantgame) December 4, 2021
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Written by Urian B.