When you delete something, it’s almost always not necessarily a guarantee that it is deleted for good. This is the same for hard drives and also online services, where companies can take a while to actually fully delete your deleted photos or messages from their services, but how long is too long?

Instagram claimed that it will take up to 90 days to fully scrub your content from their servers, but according to security research Saugat Pokharel, that wasn’t the case. According to the researcher, he discovered that his supposed deleted messages and photos from Instagram were actually kept for longer than a year.

This was after he had used Instagram’s tool to download data off his account and found that despite having deleted them more than a year ago, they were still available for download. Apparently this was a bug, which Pokharel submitted to Instagram where he was then awarded $6,000 for discovering it.

In a statement made to TechCrunch, a company spokesperson was quoted as saying, “The researcher reported an issue where someone’s deleted Instagram images and messages would be included in a copy of their information if they used our Download Your Information tool on Instagram. We’ve fixed the issue and have seen no evidence of abuse. We thank the researcher for reporting this issue to us.”

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