It’s been spreading over social media with videos of angry Samsung phone owners taking the wrapper around their batteries off to show an electronic component hidden underneath.
They claim it’s a secret device that allows the company to download data from your phone.
Yes, the component is real. (It’s a loop antennae)
Yes, your phone will work without it. (Almost everything will work)
However, it’s not a secret and it’s not downloading information to Samsung or the government.
What they’re seeing is the Near Field Communications (NFC) antenna. NFC allows your phone to communicate with other devices wirelessly.
Some companies place the antennae in the battery cover. Others, like Samsung, place the component on the battery itself.
“The battery contains a built-in NFC antenna. Handle the battery carefully to avoid damaging the NFC antenna.”
Samsung has been releasing NFC capable phones since 2010. Other manufacturers followed soon after.
In fact, you may have used it when you received your last phone to transfer your data to your new device.
Again, it’s not a secret device. If you look closely at a Samsung battery, it clearly says “Near Field Communication” on it.
More information: Snopes: A (Not So) Secret Microchip