Why your deleted WhatsApp conversations could come back to haunt you 5 years ago

Why your deleted WhatsApp conversations could come back to haunt you

This is a little concerning.

Do you use WhatsApp on an iPhone or another iOS device? If so, WhatsApp conversations that you thought had been deleted may still exist, according to a prominent security researcher.


Jonathan Zdziarski, who writes a blog called Zdziarski's Blog of Things and specialises in Apple products, recently suggested forensic traces of WhatsApp conversations remain even after they have been deleted, cleared or archived.

Furthermore, he suggests that the only way to get rid of those conversations is to delete WhatsApp from your phone entirely.


Earlier this year, WhatsApp introduced end-to-end encryption services, making it impossible for WhatsApp or other parties to read the content of messages exchanged on the app.

However, if forensic traces of the conversations remain on the device as Zdziarski suggests, they could theoretically be recovered and accessed by other parties with access to the phone. In extreme cases, for example, law enforcement might be able to access said conversations.

According to Zdziarski, the problem is far more prevalent in iMessage and on other iPhone apps, but due to WhatsApp’s huge popularity worldwide, it is bound to be the cause of some alarm.


Zdziarski stresses that it’s no major reason to panic but has encouraged WhatsApp users to be “aware of WhatsApp’s footprint” and has offered a number of tips to prevent it from happening here.

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