Spark Mail Delete account

A bit of a revelation today. Having used Spark previously (twice I think) the last time, about 9 months ago I think, I decided to close the account and deleted all my information, an option Spark offers in the app.

Today, because of problems my partner was having with getting the mail app to use a Fastmail alias I decided to go back to Spark on iOS for both of us.

Dutifully downloaded the app and proceeded to set it up, surprisingly it came back with all the retained information, preferences, signatures and settings, which means Spark did not delete my data, they may have had access to mail cut off but they retained a lot of account information. I have now deleted it entirely, removed access and emailed Readle for an explanation and assurances.

Surely deleting Data should mean just that. I had a similar issue with Typeform a while ago when they notified me of a data breach they admitted that form data I had deleted (I clear everything once a month) was actually not deleted and just resided on their servers but not shown in my account and may have been accessed in the hack.

So be aware, data deletion seems to be a relative term, or even a non existent one.

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I deleted my Spark account today, because I want to experiment with the Fastmail iOS “App” (because of the Masked Email support).

Would you please be so kind to share (a summary of) Readdle’s reply?

I am doing exactly the same and yes I will let you know their response if I get one…

Is it mentioned anywhere in their privacy policy that they do that? I know that they store and handle all sorts of information in the cloud, but they’ve most certainly crossed the line by not deleting it when requested to.

Something interesting from Apple regarding the deletion of accounts (released just yesterday):

This does not mean that the actual deletion is happening, but Apple will enforce the requirement to initiate the deletion of an account from within the app starting with app releases that are being submitted starting on January 31.

I have noticed the same with Spark. I am thinking about resetting all my mail accounts’ passwords in order to prevent Readdle accessing my data any longer without my consent. I am eagerly looking forward to their response to @TheOldDesigner

It is good to know that Apple has an eye on this, too.

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Have you checked whether no account data/backups resided in iCloud that got restored with the re-installation of the app?

Same function as iOS uses to uninstall unused apps to create space on a device without deleting their data.

In this case the data would have restored from your own data in iCloud, rather than coming from Spark.

I was also under the impression that the Spark settings were stored in iCloud and restored when you reinstall Spark - but will be interested to see what Readdle say.

I’ve found other apps that also restore profiles from some icloud backup. How would one delete the icloud backup profile?

You will either have to purge the whole device backup or use software to open and browse backup files to delete data selectively.

I use iMazing to manage my devices and backups

No I deleted all apps from iPads, phones and Mac. My partners account also repopulated data. Plus I do not keep device backups for iOS devices as I store nothing on them.

I just think delete my data means just that including possibly some hidden local icloud folder I am unaware of, not leave it lying around for who know what or for whoever to access.

So far their response is to deny I have an account, so I have provided details and pointed them to my partners account which at least today is still active and displayed the same behaviour.

It would be interesting to hear something from @Maria_from_Readdle in this topic regarding privacy and what the proceedings are in order to get a user’s data deleted from their servers…

So, Spark sent several replies to me basically saying they could not locate the accounts even though my partners account was active all over the weekend.

All Readle apps now deleted as they have failed to provide any sort of meaningful response or resolution and I simply do not trust them, others can come to their own conclusions.

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I tested this a couple times. What’s happening is that “Remove My Data from Spark” doesn’t clear the data stored in iCloud. Some examples of iCloud-stored data are whether you’ve done the first-time-inbox-tour, what you want Spark to show for your smart inbox, and saved signatures. This data also doesn’t get deleted when you delete the app, just like with any other app deletion. However, if you disable iCloud for Spark in Settings > iCloud > Storage, then do Remove my Data from Spark, or delete the app, you’ll get a totally fresh experience next time.

Readdle doesn’t have access to the iCloud data (or have any way to know if it exists) which is why support couldn’t see anything.

Totally understand being mad about it since their dialog does say they’ll delete things like signatures but they’re lingering in iCloud. They should update the wording and/or fix the issue. But hopefully it makes sense how Readdle could also be responding honestly about your data on their servers.

Actually no it restored account details including passwords for all the other subsidiariy mail accounts in my case iCloud and in my partners case hotmail including passwords as well as aliases signatures etc

In my partners case I left her account active in Spark and receiving mail purposely until after they told me they could not find her account to give them something to check.

So to me it looks like either Spark is retaining information on its servers or leaving confidential information like passwords scattered around on iCloud neither of which is really acceptable.

If the same scenario is occurring with their Documents app that means my Dropbox and server passwords would also be lying around somewhere they should not in my opinion be. Not good!

~/Library/Mobile\ Documents, when viewed in Terminal, is a garbage dump of leftovers from what appears to be every IOS app I have ever installed. Or at least every app that uses iCloud to sync. I have 9 visible folders in iCloud, but there are 98 entries in that directory, none of which can be manually deleted.

The only Readdle app I have installed is Scanner Pro but I have leftovers from two others:

iCloud~com~readdle~PrinterPro
iCloud~com~readdle~Scanner~PDF
iCloud~com~readdle~smartemail

I’ve always wondered what other kind of iCloud leftovers may be hanging around.

Interesting. I wish I knew more details about the forced logout (what you saw on other devices after completing Remove Data from Spark, essentially) and if you were able to take a step to prove the sync account was still active on the server as opposed to just the app data. Either way, nasty bug! I wish I could replicate it.

I finished talking to Readdle support about this with my tests. They were able to confirm it’s a client-side issue (honestly don’t know if it’s a bug or intended behavior) and the account doesn’t exist anymore server-side. I don’t think they’re going to fix the wording of delete to make clear you may still see artifacts of your account on the client side (or in TheOldDesigner’s case, the app’s access to email persisting.) They seem to be prioritizing technically correct over understanding how users perceive this, unfortunately.