Samsung repair mode locks your phone’s data while you ship it

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Getting your phone repaired when possible is generally better for the world, and more importantly, your wallet. But mailing it or leaving it somewhere risks exposing your personal data. Samsung’s new “repair mode” should help ease those fears.

We should go to great lengths to say that no matter what Apple suggests, most repair shops won’t go into your device and swipe your phone and credit card numbers. That’s a good way to lose your business, go out of business, or go to jail (or all of the above). But just because it usually doesn’t happen doesn’t mean it never happens.

In theory, you could try to brick your phone completely, but that could prevent repair technicians from properly diagnosing and fixing your phone, especially if the problem is on the software side. Samsung’s tool avoids that problem. Instead of locking the entire phone, it only locks your data. Technicians can test the operating system and investigate the phone, but will only see default apps with blank data. When you get your phone back, you can re-authenticate to unlock your apps and data.

Unfortunately, as first spotted by SamMobile, the feature so far only seems to be announced for Korea. There’s no word on when (or if) it’s coming to the US, nor an explanation of how the feature locks your phone. Does it encrypt data? Create a new account and hide yours? It is not clear.

But the sooner Samsung can roll out repair mode to more phones, the better because it’s a great idea.

via Sam Mobile