Apple clarifies iOS 17.5 bug that exposed deleted photos

iPadOS 17.5.1 ready to install on an iPad Pro.

Enlarge / iPadOS 17.5.1 ready to install on an iPad Pro.

Samuel Axon

On May 20, Apple released iOS 17.5.1 to fix a bug users had found a few days prior in iOS 17.5 that resurfaced old photos that had been previously deleted. So far, the update seems to have resolved the issue, but users were left wondering exactly what had happened. Now Apple has clarified the issue somewhat, describing the nature of the bug to 9to5Mac.

Apple told the publication that the photos were not regurgitated from iCloud Photos after being deleted on the local device; rather, they were local to the device. Apple says they were neither left in the cloud after deletion nor synced to it after, and the company did not have access to the deleted photos.

The photos were retained on the local device storage due to a database corruption issue, and the bug resurfaced photos that were flagged for deletion but were not actually fully deleted locally.

That simple explanation doesn’t fully cover all the widely reported edge cases some users had brought up in forums and on Reddit, but Apple offered additional answers for those, too.

The company claimed that when users reported the photos resurfacing on a device other than the one they were originally deleted on, it was always because they had restored from a backup other than iCloud Photos or performed a direct transfer from one device to another.

One user on Reddit claimed (the post has now been deleted) that they had wiped an iPad, sold it to a friend, and the friend then saw photos resurface. Apple told 9to5Mac that is impossible if the user followed the expected procedure for wiping the device, which is to go to "Settings," "General," "Transfer and Reset," and "Erase All Content and Settings."

The bug was particularly nasty in terms of optics and user trust for Apple, but it would have been far worse if it was iCloud-related and involved deleted photos staying on or being uploaded to Apple’s servers. If what the company told 9to5Mac is true, that was not the case.

Still, it’s a good reminder that in many cases, a deleted file isn’t necessarily deleted, either due to a bug like this, the nature of the storage tech, or in some other cases on other platforms, a deliberate choice.

Title: Apple clarifies iOS 17.5 bug that exposed deleted photos
Source: Ars Technica – All content
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Date: May 24, 2024 at 07:35PM
Feedly Board(s): Technologie