A Russian digital forensics company ElcomSoft has shown evidence that Apple is storing records of users' browser history in iCloud storage system even after it has been deleted. The records include site names, URLs, and when a given site was visited, going back more than a year or possibly forever.
According to ElcomSoft’s CEO, Vladimir Katalov, the iPhone maker kept a separate iCloud record, titled "tombstone", in which deleted web visits were stored. Presumably cleared browsing records marked as deleted are kept in order to sync browser histories across different devices, even if these devices are powered down when the request is made. This is a central feature of iCloud after all. However, the problem is they are presumably being kept indefinitely and stored in unhashed form.
Forbes was able to verify the claims with a separate iOS forensics expert, noting there were also Google searches, the full terms of which were visible in the Elcomsoft control panel. The forensics expert was also able to retrieve deleted Notes but only for a period less than 30 days.
Since the report came out Apple quickly moved to delete all browsing records older than two weeks. The company hasn’t directly acknowledged the issue or given any explanations.