In an age where even government agencies are spying on its own people, it is perhaps easy to understand why some people are getting very paranoid. Some can get so paranoid that they’re even thinking that phone makers are secretly installing a chip that steals your personal data stored on your phone…for whatever purposes a paranoid mind can think of.
Sometime last week, videos began spreading on Facebook of people ripping the wrapping off their Samsung smartphone batteries, uncovering a “spy chip” that these people claim Samsung is using to secretly siphon your data. Without any additional research, they justify that claim by stating that not only do their phones still work after ripping off this piece of sly hardware off the battery, it also adds “a few hours worth of battery life”.
We were made aware that at least one similarly-themed video was made by a Malaysian, as found by Malay tech blog The Skop. Similarly, it’s gone viral – at last count, the Malay-language video showing a man slowly unwrapping the battery of his Galaxy Note 3 to uncover a black strip containing a chip that’s connected to the battery for power. Note the tone of the man’s voice as he shows off how many other Samsung smartphones have this same chip in their batteries, just like the other videos embedded below, the conviction in their voices can be misleading especially to those who do not know any better.
This is where we should also tell you that those chips aren’t “spy chips” or some secret data-siphoning tool. It’s actually an embedded NFC antenna. You know, that feature that’s been on Android phones for years.
As with all things viral, the exact origins of this “spy chip” unwrapping video is unclear, though the amount of videos from last week posted in Indian and Arab languages suggests that this phenomenon may have started there. We’re not even sure why these videos are only starting to appear now, because the technology behind it has been around for years. This teardown by iFixit of the Galaxy Nexus – a phone released wayyy back in 2011 – shows the same NFC chip embedded in the same location.
While some phone makers embed their NFC chips on their phones or back covers, Samsung inserts the NFC chip within the outer lining of its batteries. This is presumably a conscious design feature, either allowing its phones to be slightly thinner, for lower power draw – or simply to force you to get original Samsung batteries in case the current one dies out. The text on the battery wrappers also state that the batteries have Near Field Communication (NFC) embedded on it – a fact that everyone doing these videos have seemed to conveniently ignore.
Now that you know that this isn’t some data-stealing chip, it is also important to note that you shouldn’t attempt to remove this chips yourself. As Android Central notes, there is a risk of users puncturing the battery when removing this chip, since there’s a strip that connects into the battery.
But, there’s no harm in watching these videos again for some pre-weekend entertainment.
سام سنگ موبائل اور انگریزوں کاشرمناک کارنامہ /لازم دیکھیں اورشیئر کریں.
Posted by Sartaj Nazeer on Monday, June 15, 2015
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Posted by Mehar Kasuri on Tuesday, June 16, 2015
(Featured image: screenshot via YouTube)