The internet does not thrive on peace and understanding. It's a place where a small issue can quickly become the flash point for a mob armed with pitchforks and torches, ready to storm the castle and kill the monster. Today's monster was Pushbullet, that
wonderful terrible app that connects your devices steals your data for nefarious purposes. Put the pitchforks down, though. The un-deletable photos were a bug, and it's fixed now.
The mob was incited by a series of posts on Reddit earlier today that pointed out Pushbullet didn't delete MMS photos when the rest of your account history was nuked (via the website). As with most other services that make your photos available online, Pushbullet uses long unique URLs to obfuscate image locations (on pushbulletusercontent.com). If you have the URL of one of your MMS images, you could still access it after the account history was deleted.
So shady dealings? Is Pushbullet literally Hydra (Hail Hydra)? No, this was a bug in the account deletion setup. Here's what Ryan Oldenburg from Pushbullet told us when we reached out.
We've become aware of a bug in our data deletion process. We recently added full SMS/MMS sync to Pushbullet but overlooked adding code to delete MMS / pictures when an account is deleted or the history cleared. We will have this fixed today.
So there you have it, your pictures should now be deleted properly along with other content. It's an oversight, sure, but bugs happen in software. At least Pushbullet responded by fixing it immediately.