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Cyprian Is Nyakundi

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Twitter still keeps archives of your DMs years after you deleted them.

Twitter, one of the world’s most prominent social networks, has been rocking headlines for many bad reasons, from undermining the freedom of expression through censorship’s to security flows that puts users privacy at risk.

You’ve probably tried deleting your Twitter DMs for personal or security reasons. However it turns out that despite the messages showing deleted both on your phone and on the web, Twitter is still saving a copy of them in their database for many years.

According to a report from Karan Saini a security researcher that was shared by TechCrunch, Twitter is still keeping copies of direct messages sent through the social network even years after users delete them.

The report adds that Twitter also keeps direct messages and data sent to and from accounts that have either been deactivated or suspended.

As per the Twitter’s privacy policy, the company claims that it is possible for users to restore their accounts for a maximum of 30 days after deactivation, in case the move to cancel was a mistake. After the 30-day period, Twitter supposedly deletes the entire data associated with your account, including the direct messages. However, this is claims is apparently not true, according to Saini’s revelation.

“We keep Log Data for a maximum of 18 months. When deactivated, your Twitter account, including your display name, username, and public profile, will no longer be viewable on Twitter.com, Twitter for iOS, and Twitter for Android. For up to 30 days after deactivation it is still possible to restore your Twitter account if it was accidentally or wrongfully deactivated.”

According to Saini, he discovered more than a year-old messages extracted from a file. The file was simple obtained after downloading an archived data of an account that was no longer active.

Saini said the data is stored due to a ‘functional bug’ rather than a security flaw but it still has implications for users privacy.

A Twitter spokesperson said the company was “looking into this further to ensure we have considered the entire scope of the issue.”


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