Apple's been storing deleted browser history on iCloud for years

Apple, calls the records “cleared” not “deleted.”

Recently, in an interview with Forbes, CEO, Elcomsoft, Vladimir Katalov, said that he came across the issue, where the browser history which he had deleted from his Apple device was stored on iCloud, without his knowledge. He later used his company's Phone breaker software to extract data from his iCloud account and found deleted records from over a year, still kept. Apple, calls the records "cleared" not "deleted", "We have found that they stay in the cloud, probably forever," Katalov claimed.

Apple's been storing deleted browser history on iCloud for years

It was also found that Apple had even been storing Google searches, with terms of searches, mobile browsing records were also visible. On further inspection, Elcomsoft found some of the records that were stored in unhashed form and dated far back as November 2015. The entire issue, though appears to be a design flaw related to the syncing technology between iOS, Mac OS, and Apple's servers.

Apple's been storing deleted browser history on iCloud for years

With the syncing technology, clearing the browsing history on one's iPhone would also clear the browsing history on all Apple devices which are linked to the same iCloud account, even if the other devices were switched off at the time the request was made.

Also Read: Apple may not use USB-C for iPhone 8: Ultra Accessory Connector hints

In response to Forbes's report, Apple rolled out a server-side fix to stop retrievals and ensure all records older than two weeks are deleted. Apple is yet to provide an explanation, but access to records is not available to third-party users. Furthermore, in order to access a person's iCloud account and browsing history, they would need login credentials or an authentication token on the user's device.


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