HUAWEI PHONES appear to have a fairly rubbish new trick for their Chinese users: photos are disappearing and it seems like no accident.
A Reddit thread entitled "[Vendor Backdoor?] Huawei deletes images downloaded from Twitter" refers to a Chinese language site's report of images downloaded from Twitter triggering the operating system to remove them from the gallery.
Readers flocked to confirm that the problem is happening on their own Chinese region devices, including those from sub-brand Honor, leading to speculation that this is the smoking gun of backdoor shenanigans that governments have been warning us about.
There's even video evidence of it happening, with the system message clearly displaying a Huawei logo, so either this is malware or the real deal.
It's worth remembering the Chinese tech companies will obey local laws, making it unlikely that we'll see this latest development here, but it does serve as a stark reminder of just how much worrying shiz goes down behind the Great Firewall and how complicit familiar manufacturers have to be.
The message says it comes from Huawei System Service (part of Huawei's Android build) but the message is phrased as if Twitter has deleted the photo - though that could just be a lost-in-translation jobbie.
Some users have even said that they've found that the deleted photos have been corrupted to avoid them being retrieved.
All of which seems like a lot of trouble to go to, which gives rise to the question, who exactly was the architect of this little scheme? It's unlikely to be Twitter, which leaves Team Winnie-The-Pooh or Huawei.
Huawei has released a statement: "Huawei has recently received user reports that allege the Twitter app automatically deletes images on Huawei devices.
"Having investigated the issue, Huawei has discovered that whenever users of certain devices download an image using specific builds of the Twitter app (version 7.78.0 and 7.77.0), the app will automatically create a folder of the same name as the image and promptly delete it in the background. This action triggers Huawei's built-in image protection alert, causing the system to notify the user of the deletion. However, the images are not affected. Users may find their images at the following location: File Manager/picture/Twitter.
"Huawei is currently in conversation with Twitter to resolve this issue as soon as possible. Huawei remains committed to delivering the best user experiences."
This raises a number of questions - why Twitter? And - why only in China? And.... well, just.... why? The mystery continues.... μ
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