It appears that Twitter stores private messages from users for years, even if they are deleted or belong to deactivated accounts.
Twitter stores private messages for years
Removing something online does not always mean that it actually disappears. This is now clear from a discovery that Twitter keeps your deleted private messages for years. That is where security researcher Karan Saini came behind. In front of the TechCrunch website, Saini tells us that he found years of old messages in an archive of his data. Among other things from accounts that can no longer be found on Twitter.
According to Twitter, anyone can have their accounts removed on the platform. It can then take 30 days until the accounts actually disappear, including all data. Now it appears that Twitter can hold this data much longer.
Saini says to TechCrunch that it is a ‘functional bug’, but it is also a privacy problem. Certainly for activists and journalists, where governments, for example, can request their data.
This discovery could be a problem for Twitter because it could potentially go against the new European privacy legislation. According to the General Data Protection Regulation (AVG), users can demand companies to delete their data. If Twitter actually goes against these rules, then the fines can amount to four percent of the company’s annual turnover.
Twitter is doing further research against TechCrunch, to find out what the size of the problem is.
not always delete
This news is another lesson in the fact that removing something online does not always really mean removal. That is something to keep in mind when posting messages, photos and more. There is a big difference in pressing a delete button and making a concrete request for deleting your data.