Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

WhatsApp update proves app is storing your images long after deletion

WhatsApp is quietly adding a new feature to its Android app, expanding users’ ability to re-download deleted media files.

Even if users remove the photos, GIFs, or videos from their on-board storage or SD cards, they will be able to go back and grab the media files from within chats.

While this may seem like a handy tool to helps users maintain access to media without the need to store files locally, there is something slightly troubling about the situation.

It confirms the Facebook-owned company is users storing images on its servers long after they may have been deleted.

Related: Cambridge Analytica Scandal: All the latest

WABetaInfo has the skinny. It points out that users are currently able to re-download media 30 days after deleting it from their phones. After the re-download, the company immediately has been deleting the images from its servers.

However, within the latest beta, it appears that images from several months ago will be available to re-download. The site was able to acquire media from as far back as three months ago.

It doesn’t appear the media will be available indefinitely. When going back to images sent in August 2017, WhatsApp told the beta user to request the image again from the original sender.

The media files remain end-to-end encrypted so it would appear, on the surface, there’s not a lot to worry about here.

However, following the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal, many users are becoming more guarded about the information held by Facebook and its offshoot companies.

Does this news concern you? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.