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Facebook Poke Messages & Images Held for 90 Days

January 3, 2013

By Gilbert Falso :: 1:16 PM

Facebook PokeFacebook’s new Poke application that allows users to send messages and images that only display for a matter of seconds actually retains the data and images for up to 90 days, according to Business Insider.

The company stores Poke messages in an encrypted format, and keeps them that way for two days after the last recipient receives the poke message. This is done to help Facebook track any abuse that is reported. After two days, the encryption key that allows access to the message is deleted. But, Facebook can still├é┬áretrieve├é┬áthat key from a log or backup file – for up to 90 days.

After 90 days, the key is no longer accessible. Facebook has told Business Insider that they are “working to significantly reduce that period over the next several weeks” as engineers work on the stability of Poke’s deletion system.

Poke, and its more popular counterpart, Snapchat, both have privacy issues. It recently came to light that some Snapchat images can be retrieved off of users phones after they are viewed. By connecting the phone to a computer, and running a file management program, some users have been able to pull up image files that were thought to have been temporary.