Snapchat comes to agreement with FTC over privacy issues

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Snapchat is one of those bizarre smartphone success stories, where a company takes a very simple, existing idea, tweaks it ever so slightly, and manages to attract hundreds of millions of users in the process. While the whole service is based on the idea of temporary messages that fade into oblivion after a few seconds, it doesn’t take a very hard look to spot all the fatal flaws with that plan, from using other software on your phone to record Snapchat content, to exploiting the analog hole and simply taking a photo of your phone, as that content’s being displayed. To its credit, Snapshot has long acknowledged these vulnerabilities, but apparently it wasn’t quite clear enough, and today announces a settlement it’s reached with the FTC over this and other privacy concerns.

As part of the settlement, Snapchat is updating its privacy policy and the description of its app to reflect the reality of the situation: it may do its best to keep your pics and messages ephemeral, but doesn’t mean that they’re going to vanish for good. For instance, the new Snapchat description in iTunes now reads “[your friends will] view it, laugh, and then the Snap disappears from the screen – unless they take a screenshot!

The other impetus for this settlement stems from last year’s massive data breach connected to Snapchat’s Find Friends feature, and the company notes that it will “continue to invest heavily in security and countermeasures to prevent abuse.”

Source: Snapchat
Via: TechCrunch

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!