Handing broken phone to phone repair shop

Do Phone Repair Shops Look Through Your Phone?

I've come to learn that privacy is not an uncommon concern folk have before handing their phone over to strangers at a repair shop. Especially since some repairs require your passcode in order to run certain tests and procedures.

In 2016, there was a high profile lawsuit with Apple and a 21 year old woman who sent her phone to get repaired at their centre. Some employees (who lack an ethical compass) went ahead and uploaded explicit personal photos this woman had on her phone, onto her Facebook account.

Apple settled this case for a few million dollars, but in the process, instilled fear in a lot of people.

Of course, I cannot speak for other repair shops, but I'd like to share my thoughts on the matter.

Unless it's a very specific instance in which your camera is acting up and that's our repair job (even then we don't go into photos if not necessary), we do not have a single reason to access your photos unless you tell us to. A lot of the time we're just repairing screens or hardware issues, which doesn't require using apps of any kind, but may require us unlocking your phone to run diagnostics.

If you'd like to play extra cautious and have sensitive data on your phone, it's always best to back up your phone, and even wipe it in certain instances before sending it off to repair. This is not due to the potential of technicians going for a snoop, but rather, in case they need to wipe (re-flash) your phone. This is applicable with major damages to the board and water damage.

In our years of working with technicians, I think they're a very honest bunch, especially if they're a local small-medium sized business. The likelihood of getting a snoop repairing your device is very slim. But, to be on the safe side, you could lock certain images and videos and put them behind a passcode.

For us, looking through your personal data is a big, fat, passionate NO.

Should you still be cautious? Yes.

Not just with phone repair shops, but with everything. We're in an age where hacking is becoming easier and easier. A hacker can get into your phone without knowing your pin, or even physically having the device. Playing safe is a good habit, period.

If you have any questions you can reach out to us anytime, we're more than happy to help.

Tom, Kixup Repairs