Your smartphone may contain secret “features” that leave you vulnerable.

I’m not talking about accidental design flaws that hackers might exploit. Security issues have always existed. They represent a cat-and-mouse game between malicious actors, who try to break smartphone security, and the smartphone industry, which tries to identify and fix the accidental vulnerabilities that make phones susceptible to hackers. Nothing new about that.

What I’m talking about is a new phenomenon — a trend we’ve learned about only in the past few weeks.

I’m talking about design decisions made by smartphone companies that cause phones to do things invisibly, behind the scenes and behind your back, that make phones potentially less secure.

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Why we can’t trust smartphones anymore