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Apple Continues Storing Notes Long After Deletion

A Russian security firm has found that notes deleted on iPhone, iPad and Mac devices can remain stored in the cloud for years.

ElcomSoft was able to use its own software to extract deleted notes synced to a user’s iCloud account dating back to 2015, significantly beyond the 30-day period that Apple claims to retain notes in the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder before being “permanently deleted“.

The security firm, which has previously made discoveries of deleted photos and deleted Safari browsing history remaining available through iCloud accounts, said it expects Apple will issue a fix for the issue.

“There is no doubt Apple will fix the current issue. The question is: what other data you don’t want Apple to keep is still retained by the company? And does Apple actually destroy deleted records or simply hides them or moves to a different server? These questions still have no answer,” ElcomSoft’s Oleg Afonin said in a blog post.

While ElcomSoft said the oldest record it had been able to retrieve dated back to 2012, not all the accounts it tested contained deleted notes dating back that far. In some cases, notes were able to be accessed two weeks beyond the stated 30-day period.

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