Telegram Shares contacts if you share devices

Here’s the thing, and this never bothered me until now. I get devices for review. Okay, I used to get them, review devices are used by my colleagues. But when I do get a device that will be returned, this is what happens. Telegram will associate every device you’ve used with you. So if I use Device X, then give it to my small bro, somehow our Telegram contacts will be synced, in read only mode.

This is how I ended up getting alerts that media celebrities have joined Telegram, because I used one device, then it probably ended up at Capital FM and that’s how I get alerted that Cess Mutungi has joined Telegram, including her username and phone number. Right now I’ve been alerted that Maina Kageni has joined Telegram, and I have his phone number as a result.

I can’t be exactly excited, that’s how random strangers end up having my phone number. So any device that has had your Telegram account ends up staying with your contacts in the Telegram cloud waiting for Telegram to be downloaded and the grapevine continues. By the time the phone is at it’s third reviewer, we are all family.

Are these devices not wiped after each review?

Also in their privacy policy, Telegram claim that they only sync contacts with user consent.

I’d wager the problem is on the users’ end.

Yes they are factory reset. I don’t know how else I can explain this, since I learnt this happens when I gave my girlfriend my phone to use without wiping, and we ended up synced.

That’s really odd and obviously a privacy fail.

The little I can find online implies that there are known issues with the way Telegram syncs contacts on Android.

I will try to replicate that behaviour although you could also try reaching out to Telegram Support.

I have experienced this so many times it even stopped bothering me. I tired even deleting all my Telegram contacts but all in vain. Telegram needs to sort this out.

What happens when you close all the sessions BEFORE giving away the phone? Does this still happen or was that option not available at the time?

Maybe that’s what I missed in all these devices I stopped using.

I will try this and let you know.

you can delete the contacts for good from the telegram web version

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