Data Security: Bug keeps users’ deleted photos, messages on servers, says Instagram

*Messages, pictures deleted over a year earlier still present on Instagram’s servers ─Cybersecurity expert

*Company has fixed the issue; it usually takes about 90 days for deleted content to be removed from servers  

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As you delete a post or photo from a social media site, you ordinarily, might expect it to be gone for good.

However, in a manner appearing like mining of users’ private data in some way, a cybersecurity expert recently discovered that this wasn’t the case for some content posted on Instagram.

Security researcher Saugat Pokharel said that he dug into his own data on the social media platform and found that messages and pictures he had deleted over a year before were still present on Instagram’s servers, according to TechCrunch.

It was gathered that Pokharel received $6,000 under Instagram’s bug bounty programme for bringing the issue to light after notifying the social media platform.

Instagram Spokesperson said: “The researcher reported an issue where someone’s deleted Instagram images and messages would be included in a copy of their information if they used our Download Your Information tool on Instagram.

“We’ve fixed the issue and have seen no evidence of abuse. We thank the researcher for reporting this issue to us.”

Accessing your information

Report stated that what Pokharel did to find this cybersecurity issue is not something that is beyond any other Instagram user.

The Download Your Information tool was introduced back in 2018 to allow the platform to comply with data information policies established under the European Union’s GDPR rule.

Instagram states that it usually takes around 90 days for deleted content to be removed from its servers, but consumers can check out the tool for themselves to see exactly what personal information is being stored on the site.

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