A security firm has managed to recover deleted notes as old as a couple of years.
The iCloud Notes you delete are supposed to be permanently wiped within 30 days. Gone forever, never to be seen again. Russian security firm ElcomSoft has discovered, however, that Apple has been keeping deleted notes in the cloud for far longer. Its security researchers were able to retrieve notes that should’ve vanished weeks and months ago. In some cases, they were even able to recover notes from way back in 2015.
It’s worth noting that ElcomSoft used special tools and software, so nobody will accidentally stumble upon a note you deleted last year. For your old files to resurface, somebody has to be actively targeting you. Still, it’s definitely a security issue that Apple should fix ASAP, and we’ve reached out to Cupertino to ask if it has plans to patch it up in the near future. ElcomSoft seems to be confident that Apple will, since the tech titan quickly fixed the similar Safari and iCloud Photo Library security lapses it found in the past. Since it’s the third time the firm discovered that Apple retains info that’s supposed to be gone, though, it posed some interesting questions that might never get answered:
“Once we made a discovery about deleted photos being kept in iCloud Photo Library for years, Apple was prompt to making those images disappear. Once we discovered that Safari browsing history records are never deleted from the cloud, Apple patched that as well. 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.”