WhatsApp’s ‘Delete for Everyone’ doesn’t remove media files from iPhones. It turns out that the ‘Delete for Everyone’ feature of WhatsApp — designed to allow you to wipe away accidentally sent texts and files — could still leave traces of your messages due to a discrepancy in how the function works on Android handsets and iPhones.
Researcher Shitesh Sachan noticed that media files sent to iPhone users in group chats (which enabled the setting ‘ Save to Camera Roll ‘) would remain on the device even after purging messages.
WhatsApp’s ‘Delete for Everyone’ doesn’t remove media files from iPhones
To clarify, while deleted posts containing media files will not be noticeable in WhatsApp, the files will still be accessible for iPhone users enabled with ‘Save to Camera Roll.’
The feature, on the other hand, works differently for Android on WhatsApp. Once a user has used “Delete for Everyone,” media files that have been saved to the photo gallery of the Android recipient will also be wiped.
The difference between the platforms could leave Android users unfamiliar with how the feature works on iOS devices with a false sense of privacy. When the researcher contacted WhatsApp about the flaw, a company spokesman suggested the feature does not provide any guarantee that media files will be properly cleaned from storage devices.
“The functionality provided through ‘ Delete for Everyone ‘ is intended to delete the message and there is no guarantee that the media (or message) will be permanently deleted — the implementation is focused on the WhatsApp message presence,” a spokesperson told the researcher, reports The Hacker News.
WhatsApp is not the only messenger to have suffered from this problem for the record.
A researcher recently discovered Telegram kept phone storage images from deleted files, but the company has since released an update that fixes the bug. However, from its perspective, WhatsApp does not have any immediate plans to address the issue.