Update on Samsung's security policy

Samsung's mysterious security update service is still a mystery a month later.

Last month, I commented on a security notice that kept popping up after I allowed the Android 4.4.2 software update to download onto my Samsung Galaxy Note 2. That update brought on the irritating "won't take no for an answer," security notice and a significant and noticeable decrease in battery life. If you'd like more information, please read the post, " Samsung: Security or arrogance? "

New device, same issue

Since that time, I've updated to a Galaxy Note 4 and it appears that the same irritating security notices appear several times a day on that device. I've called Verizon's help line multiple times, engaged the support people using the online chat facility Verizon offers, and engaged the Verizon Twitter support people. None of them have a clue about these messages and can't offer a suggestion about how to turn them off.

One of the Verizon support people, Sandy, forwarded my call to the Samsung technical support team. I was on hold for about 30 minutes and when I thought I was about to speak with the support rep, the system hung up on me. I called the support number that I was given and, once again, found myself on an extended hold and never was able to speak with anyone.

My next tactic was to contact the Samsung Investor Support team. I knew they were the wrong people to contact, but the Samsung website didn't offer contact information for the analyst or media relations people. Eventually, I received an email from a member of Samsung's PR company's staff. Casey was very friendly and promised to look into the matter and get back with me shortly. So far, I haven't heard back from her either.

About all I've learned in a month's time is that this message is likely to be related to Samsung's security product, Knox.

My concerns continue

As I mentioned in the last post, I have concerns about Samsung's bold grab of my personal data and tracking information. It still isn't clear what the company plans to do with personal data or telephone metadata the security system claims it is going to collect.

As before, it appears that neither Verizon nor Samsung are willing to say what will be updated through this service, how large the updates might be, what software might be installed or deleted and, in my view is asking me to paint a large target on my back and agree to be tracked by Samsung.

While they may have no evil intent, declining their nice offer to protect my system is  ignored and I still receive multiple requests on a daily basis.

When declining a service isn't an acceptable answer

Each time I press the on screen button declining this offer of providing a service, a notice asking me to accept this security service comes back again. Often 7 or 8 times a day.

No one at Verizon appears able to explain this service or what it does. Samsung makes it very difficult to speak with a representative and, so far, I haven't been able to get answers from them.

What Samsung is really saying

As I thought before, Samsung appears to have no intention of letting its customers know what they're updating, how often the updates will come, how large the updates will be or what these updates will do to the day-to-day operation of the customer's device. Since, Verizon tells me that these updates will use part of my service plan's data allowance, Samsung clearly expects customers to pay the bill.

As I mentioned in my last post, there is a fine line between offering a reasonable security support policy and and acting like the customer's device is still owned by the supplier. I still believe that Samsung has crossed that line and after having done so, is unwilling to answer reasonable questions about what they're doing.