iPhone security flaw brings dead email to life

By Justin Mann on
If you've used a computer for any length of time, you should understand that merely deleting a file is insufficient to truly erase its existence. You might imagine a different story from a phone – you delete an email and expect it to be gone. As phones evolve into miniature PCs, however, data retention may become an issue. Thus it was interesting to read about a recently discovered flaw present on the iPhone, where it seems that even after you delete an email message it can be easily retrieved so long as you know the subject line.

In a short video, one man has demonstrated how easy it is to pull back up a deleted email on Apple’s smartphone. It wasn't only affecting recent messages, either, but is effective even at pulling up emails deleted months prior. Flaw? Feature? You could easily swing both ways on this one. Sometimes people need to retrieve a deleted message; most others they want trashed data to remain that way.

There are certainly potential security concerns here that go far beyond simply being embarrassed. Should you need to ship your iPhone in for repair, you may be inclined to delete emails with any sensitive information on them first. Or, if you end up needing to recycle an old one, you don't want to risk the chance that someone can rifle through the trash and pull up old emails. What's your take – is this paranoia or a legitimate concern?

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