Sext with caution: Snapchat photos can be recovered from your phone

Sarah Hofmann Contributor
Font Size:

A reported 150 million photos are uploaded each day to Snapchat, an application that allows users to send a picture via cell phone to someone before the photo self-destructs after a few seconds.

But despite the claim, these photos are not actually deleted, KSL Utah reports. The photos are still stored on the user’s phone and are able to be recovered.

Richard Hickman, a digital forensics examiner, told KSL he has determined a way to recover Snapchat photos on Android phones. Hickman said the photos are never deleted from the phone, but rather are removed from the back-end mapping system.

“It says, OK, that spot where that picture was stored is now available to be overwritten. That’s what would happen with a regular camera,” said Hickman.

Snapchat responded to Hickman’s discovery with a statement to Business Insider: “There are many ways to save snaps that you receive the easiest way is to take a screenshot or take a photo with another camera. Snaps are deleted from our servers after they have been viewed by the recipient.”

Although Hickman has yet to find a way to recover photos on iPhones, his discovery could concern the Snapchat users who may sending sexually explicit photos.

Follow Sarah on Twitter