Snapchat (sort of) admits your old picture data doesn’t exactly disappear


Confirming what Decipher Forensics researcher Richard Hickman told Digital Trends last week, Snapchat admitted on its blog that your snaps don’t just disappear into the impenetrable ether of the Internet.

The bulk of the blog post downplayed the potential for re-discovering photos, and noted that Snapchat deletes seen snaps from both its servers and sends instructions to delete snaps to phones.

“So … you know … keep that in mind before putting any state secrets in your selfies.”

Digital Trends discussed this update with Hickman, who hasn’t made contact with Snapchat but said the blog post likely sprang from the publicity his research received. “Yes, I think that Snapchat is downplaying my research. I don’t blame them either, this is bad for them. However, not everything they have posted is accurate from what I have found so far. They say that after a snap is viewed that it is deleted from temporary memory, however, in every instance that I have tested, it is not. That is not to say that in other instances they are not deleted, because more testing is necessary.”

So Hickman thinks Snapchat’s not being totally accurate. At least they’re admitting to something – right at the tail end of the blog post, Snapchat snuck what amounts to an admission in: “Also, if you’ve ever tried to recover lost data after accidentally deleting a drive or maybe watched an episode of CSI, you might know that with the right forensic tools, it’s sometimes possible to retrieve data after it has been deleted. So … you know … keep that in mind before putting any state secrets in your selfies.”

The fact that the company admitted that you can potentially recover deleted data highlights the fact that researchers like Hickman poked a hole in their claim to impermanence that no amount of nudie pics can fill.

And that said, you’re probably OK sending semi-scandalous pictures on Snapchat, as long as you’re sending it to someone sane enough to question the value of shelling out the hundreds of dollars Decipher Forensics asks for to dig up an old picture. Maybe if a company comes out with really cheap recovery tools, you’d be wise to forego Snapchatting anything remotely scandalous altogether – until then, you’ll have to use your own common sense. Just don’t document your illegal exploits with the app and you should be fine, since the most obvious way this Snapchat resurrection may be used is to aid law enforcement.

Emerging Tech

Twitter is officially a teenager now. Are we raising a monster?

On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey sent the first ever tweet. Thirteen years later, Twitter has fundamentally changed the way we communicate. Here are some of the myriad ways it's done that.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.

Flex your thumbs (and your brain) with these fun texting games

Gaming consoles keep getting more advanced, but you can still have fun with the good old Latin alphabet. Here are our picks for the best texting games, so you can make the most fun out of that limited data plan or basic cell phone.
Product Review

There’s almost nothing bad to say about the Mi Mix 3, but you still shouldn’t buy it

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is good-looking, really well made, packed with features, and is a powerful, modern, desirable smartphone. But you probably shouldn’t buy it. Why? Nothing wrong with the device itself, but Xiaomi itself is mostly to…
Social Media

Federal investigation digs into Facebook’s data-sharing deals

Facebook confirmed it is cooperating with a federal criminal investigation. According to a report, the company is under investigation for sharing user data with smartphone and tablet companies.
Social Media

Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

Facebook, if you didn't already know it, suffered a bit of an issue on Wednesday, March 13. An issue that took down not only its social networking site, but also Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. On Thursday it offered an explanation.

Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

If a new report is accurate, Snapchat will be getting an integrated gaming platform in April. The platform will feature mobile games form third-party developers, and one publisher is already signed on.
Social Media

Twitter is testing a handy subscription feature for following threads

Twitter has recently started testing a feature that lets you subscribe to a thread so that you’ll no longer need to like a comment or post to it yourself in order to receive notifications of new contributions.
Social Media

Your Google+ public content will remain viewable on the web, if you want it to

Google's failed social network — Google+ — will soon be wiped from the internet, but there's a team of volunteers working right now to save its public content for the Internet Archive.

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.

Intel and Facebook team up to give Cooper Lake an artificial intelligence boost

Intel's upcoming Cooper Lake microarchitecture will be getting a boost when it comes to artificial intelligence processes, thanks to a partnership with Facebook. The results are CPUs that are able to work faster.
Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.

Insta-checkout? New Instagram service lets you shop without leaving the platform

Shopping on Instagram no longer means leaving the platform to checkout in a web browser. Instagram checkout launched in beta today with a handful of retailers, allowing users to checkout without leaving the app.

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. But with so many subreddits to choose from, exploring them can be overwhelming. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.