WhatsApp doesn't delete photos and videos from the iPhone (iOS) gallery even after the sender chooses to delete the media for everyone in a conversation. This is related to the option to automatically save media to the device, which stores the image received in the gallery and does not delete it, even if the warning This message has been deleted is displayed in the chat. The situation was discovered by application security consultant Shitesh Sachan, and revealed by the website The Hacker News.
According to the publication, this occurs when the recipient has the automatic incoming media download option enabled on the iPhone. The feature causes the device to download the photo to the camera roll immediately upon receipt, and even after the uploader requests to delete it, it is not removed from the gallery but only from the conversation. In response to TechTudo, the company explained that images on the camera roll are out of reach for the "erase for all" function.
How to see deleted messages for everyone on WhatsApp
Media sent by WhatsApp can be stored on iPhone even though it has been deleted for everyone in the conversation. Photo: Aline Batista / TechTudo
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On Android, the delete-for-all function removes media from the messenger and also from the mobile gallery even after the automatic download has stored the file on the device. WhatsApp messages can be deleted within 1 hour, 8 minutes and 16 seconds after sending.
Asked by the researcher, WhatsApp stated that there is no guarantee that a message or attachments will be deleted, and that recipients can also view the messages before they are deleted or if the deletion is unsuccessful.
The Delete for All feature is intended to delete the message and there is no guarantee that the media will be permanently deleted. The implementation focuses on the message in WhatsApp ".
Still according to The Hacker NewsEven with that statement, the WhatsApp security team has stated that they will be able to make changes to this functionality in the future.
WhatsApp's automatic download option is enabled by default at app install, but can be manually disabled in app settings on iPhone and Android.
This feature is working correctly and the use of the erase for all feature, when used on time, will result in removal of the WhatsApp conversation media. We provide simple options to help iPhone users manage the media they receive from friends and family, in accordance with best practices established by operating systems. If a user chooses to save images to the camera roll, they will be stored out of WhatsApp's 'erase for all' feature.
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