Troubling iOS 17.5 bug reportedly resurfacing old deleted photos

iOS 17.5 seems to be experiencing a rather nasty bug that raises some very, very concerning questions about what Apple thinks “delete” really means.

After updating their iPhone, one user said they were shocked to find old NSFW photos that they deleted in 2021 suddenly showing up in photos marked as recently uploaded to iCloud. Other users have also chimed in with similar stories. “Same here,” said one Redditor. “I have four pics from 2010 that keep reappearing as the latest pics uploaded to iCloud. I have deleted them repeatedly.”

“Same thing happened to me,” replied another user. “Six photos from different times, all I have deleted. Some I had deleted in 2023.” More reports have been trickling in overnight. One said: “I had a random photo from a concert taken on my Canon camera reappear in my phone library, and it showed up as if it was added today.”

↫ Tim Hardwick at MacRumors

A report a few days later says that even on devices that have been wiped and sold, photos seem to be reappearing. This is even scarier than photos reappearing on devices you’re still using today – just think of all the iOS devices you’ve had and sold that might still be in use today. Users all over could be looking at old photos you took that you thought weren’t only deleted, but also wiped when you sold the devices in question.

Apple has not said anything yet, but it further illustrates just how untrustworthy companies like Apple really are. Even taking into account it might take some time (minutes? An hour?) for a delete request to propagate through iCloud’s server network, there’s obviously no way photos that were supposedly deleted years ago are resurfacing now – especially when entire device wipes are involved, and any new user isn’t even logged into the same iCloud account.

I hope for everyone involved – the users, that is, I don’t give a rat’s ass about Apple – that this isn’t very widespread, because the last thing any of us needs is old nude photos reappearing on random people’s devices.

What a mess.


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