World Of Apps – Deleted Snaps That Are Not Really Deleted
So you thought that the last picture you deleted from your social messaging apps won’t appear
anywhere, anymore and that it’s gone for forever. Well, then you could be in for some surprise.
We are surrounded by apps that offer free messaging services and quick transfer of pictures and
videos. Popular Youth social messaging app, Snapchat recently admitted that the photos, videos
or messages in the form of texts, users send to their controlled list of users via the application
does not get absorbed into the air, entirely. They keep floating over the internet.
Snapchat is a an social photo messaging application that let users send or receive videos, pictures
and drawings to the recipients who can view these Snapchat videos or pictures for only a short
duration (only a couple of seconds) after which they are concealed from the recipients device and
deleted from the Snapchat servers.
Snapchat in legal issues with FTC over Claims that it Deceived Users
Developer of a well known mobile messaging app, Snapchat agreed to settle claims with Federal
Trade Commission over charges that it misled its users with promises about evaporation of
Snapchat pictures and messages on action of deletion. However according to FTC, Snapchat
failed to deliver its promises and misrepresented about its privacy, security settings and data
In the original complaint filed by FTC, it said that there were many ways a Snap chat user could
recover deleted pictures and messages.
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Security breach or mere ignorance
The FTC accused Snapchat of secretly collecting private information from users through
its “Find Friends” facility, which accesses contact information without permission of the account
holder and was termed as a security breach that allowed hackers to obtain personal information
of the users such as user name and phone numbers using Snapchat for android and iOS.
On the other hand, Snapchat neither admitted nor denied but agreed to settle claims and said it
would be more forthcoming about privacy with users. It acknowledged that there were many
ways users could save a friend’s photo that is supposed to “self-destruct” about a few seconds
— by downloading third-party apps or taking screenshots. According to Snapchat, it deletes
snaps or chats from its servers after the message is opened, but admits that people can still take
screenshots of messages giving base to the allegations made by FTC.
The settlement does not include penalty in the form of fine. Snapchat also agreed to implement a
privacy setting which will be under observation for 20 years.
Founder of another private messaging app says that deleted snaps usually prowl on servers
somewhere so the programs have to be tighter.
Brand building exercise
This has been a major blow for the social messaging app giant and it is working on rebuilding
its image. It released a statement on its website acknowledging mistakes and promised on
fixing their privacy settings. They assured to become more alert and precise with their users on
communication, in the future.
In the FTC’s official press release, Edith Ramirez, the chairman stated that a company with the
primary USP of privacy must make and sell it’s products keeping this in mind too. The FTC’s
decision will raise the bar for privacy-enhancing technologies.