The Google Pixel repair program is a service provided by the company to help customers troubleshoot and repair their gimped Pixel phone. Pixel repair isn’t exactly something you can accomplish on your own at home, at least for the average person.
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But now, at least one user of the Pixel repair program is speaking out about their awful experience with the program. Jane McGonigal (Twitter handle @avantgame) posted on Twitter about the experience of sending a device into the Pixel repair program under warranty.
McGonigal says that internet accounts and photos were compromised after the Pixel 5a had been sent to Pixel repair. The person who accessed the Pixel 5a was able to get into McGonigal’s Dropbox, Google Services, alternative email accounts, and activity logs show the intruder accessing photos in an attempt to find revealing photos of McGonigal. The phone was not operable before being sent into Pixel repair and could not be factory reset.
McGonigal noted that this happened long after her phone seemingly vanished from Google’s facility, and despite efforts to wipe the phone and lock it using Google’s system. She couldn’t turn the phone on as she normally would to perform a reset. The perpetrator, meanwhile, took pains to cover their tracks by marking Google security alerts as spam and even deleting those notices in backup email accounts.
Google has confirmed that it’s “investigating” the claim. McGonigal heard the same through unofficial sources, but hadn’t been contacted as of this writing. This is the second such report in two weeks.Engadget
Yeah, don't send your Google phone in for warranty repair/replacement. As has happened with others, last night someone used it to log into my gmail, Drive, photos backup email account, dropbox, and I can see from activity logs they opened a bunch of selfies hoping to find nudes— Jane McGonigal (@avantgame) December 4, 2021
The hacker changed my gmail settings to mark all security messages from Google as spam, so when I checked my spam folder that's where all the security alerts went while they were hacking me— Jane McGonigal (@avantgame) December 4, 2021
also to be clear I have been on Google support and Pixel support dozens of time all week BEFORE the hack happened, asking them to investigate why my phone marked delivered by FedEx 'disappeared' at the warehouse. At any time someone could have offered me any security advice?!— Jane McGonigal (@avantgame) December 4, 2021
The photos they opened were of me in bathing suits, sports bras, form-fitting dresses, and of stitches after surgery. They deleted Google security notifications in my backup email accounts.— Jane McGonigal (@avantgame) December 4, 2021
Sadly, sending anything in for repair with personal data into any company is a risk. You’re trusting that the person on the other end is a responsible and moral human being. Google is investigating the situation but has yet to give an official statement.
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Last Updated on December 6, 2021.