Free public photo printers are commonly seen in big shopping malls, restaurants and other public areas. Users scan the QR code on the machine, send a picture to the official account, the picture can be printed by the machine in one minute. Free photo printer machine has become a method for vendors to promote their official WeChat accounts.
Some users found that after scanning the QR code on the machine, their account automatically followed some public accounts on WeChat. These official accounts have been sending promotion messages and advertisements to them every day.
Beijing Youth Daily reporters went to Kaide Mall near Taiyanggong, Chaoyang district to try the free printing service. Reporters found that users had to follow one WeChat official public account to print one photo at one time. For more free printings, users had to follow another official public accounts. One person can only print 6 free photos a day.
However, netizens complained that a few days after they printed the photos, there were always strangers sending friends request on WeChat.
Reporters contacted a manufactory of such free photo printing machine. Workers said that at the beginning, the machines were used to advertise. But the personal information of users will be given away to strangers for other purposes.
Public charging machine in some shopping malls also have potential risk of giving away persona information in the mobile phone. Insiders remind that Android users should turn off the USB debugging when connecting to the public charging machine. IOS users should click on “Don’t trust” when the system asks if users trust the device. Turning on or trusting means the public charging can have all access to all the information on the mobile phone.