What Really Happens to Your Deleted Internet Messages, Photos



(NEW YORK) — Even after Snapchat admitted photos sent using the popular app don’t disappear forever after all, experts say users still don’t grasp how difficult it is to entirely erase something from the Internet.

“It looks like it’s gone,” security expert Nico Sell told ABC News. “If you don’t understand the underlying technology of the Internet, and aren’t thinking about what is going on behind the scenes, it looks like it disappeared.”

But most of the time, your “deleted” Instagram snaps or Facebook posts — or possibly Snapchats — are still lurking on a server somewhere, said Sell, founder of another private messaging app, Wickr.

“Even when something is deleted from a device or a computer, it doesn’t completely delete,” she explained. “Your SMS — if you were to delete a text, I could still get it off the phone. It’s in the trash.”

Snapchat agreed to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission on Thursday that it deceived users about how private their photos really were. The company admitted that there were roundabout ways users could save a friend’s photo — which is supposed to “self-destruct” after a few seconds — by downloading third-party apps or taking screenshots.

The FTC also accused Snapchat of secretly collecting private information from users through its “Find Friends” feature, which accesses contact information.

Snapchat said it would be more forthcoming about privacy with users.

The company says it deletes “snaps” from its servers after the message is opened, but admits people can still take screenshots of messages.

When that happens, Snapchat sends the sender a notification.


About Author


1 Comment

  1. Jenae_Stenet on

    Early this year (January) I took a picture of the right side of my breast because I felt rashes was developing, I didn’t have a mirror at that time so I decided to take a picture of it to see the rashes and then I deleted the picture from my gallery afterwards. Fast forward to last week I was checking my email and I decided to open the email sent by Google with subject “35 new photos ready to share” I opened it and I was shocked to see that picture and all pictures from way way back. I didn’t know it was automatically backed up because it only took a minute before I deleted it. I deleted it again from my profile backup and I’m praying to God that that would be the last time I will see that picture.

Leave A Reply