Marketing 2 min read

Security Report: Twitter Still Has Copies of Your Deleted DMs

In a new discovery, a security expert has found a way to recover deleted Twitter DMs from accounts even after they have been deleted or suspended. Is this a security feature? Or a fatal privacy flaw?

A new security leak may allow users to recover deleted Twitter Dms. ¦ Shutterstock

A new security leak may allow users to recover deleted Twitter Dms. ¦ Shutterstock

Do you remember those old embarrassing Twitter DMs that you deleted and thought were gone for good? Well, it turns out Twitter may have kept a copy for itself.

Sharing his discovery with TechCrunch, security researcher Karan Saini claimed he was able to retrieve old Twitter DMs that he had deleted years ago.

Saini told TechCrunch that he found the old messages in an archive of his Twitter data which you can access through the settings menu. Here is the exciting part, it doesn’t matter if the messages were from accounts that have been suspended or deleted, they can still be retrieved.

Several online publications confirmed the security researcher’s claim when they retrieved messages that date as far back as 2016. And as you would expect, it raises some privacy concerns.

A conversation, dated March 2016, with a suspended Twitter account was still retrievable today | Image via TechCrunch

According to Twitter’s guidelines, there’s a brief period to access account information. Ideally, you should only be able to restore your account with all data intact within 30 days.

Following the requests of law enforcement, the social media platform also preserves records for 90 days. But this is supposed to be snapshots of relevant account records only not an entire DM.

That means after your DMs should be gone for good after a maximum of 30 days. At most, it shouldn’t exceed the 90-days period required by law. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

“DMs are never ‘deleted’—instead only withheld from appearing in the UI,” Saini said.

So, is it a security flaw?

According to the security researcher, it isn’t. Instead, the messages are accessible due to the presence of a functional bug, Saini said.

While Twitter is yet to make an official statement on the issue, a spokesperson for the company told TechCrunch that;

“it’s looking into this further to ensure [the company has] considered the entire scope of the issue.”

Whatever the case may be, this is a privacy concern. As such, it serves as a reminder to be mindful of the data we share on social media platforms.

Read More: Twitter Launches Snapchat-Like Camera Feature

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

Comments (2)
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    Lisa Gaillard April 02 at 1:46 pm GMT

    Another blow to the social media platform’s privacy and security reputation. But, I just love Twitter nothing change.

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    Soniya Singh July 21 at 9:24 am GMT

    This is really nice info about twitter account http://twthack.net Just visit here.

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