“The Internet is forever, and people don’t realize that”

A recent update to Snapchat included the ability to conduct a real-time video conversation.

A recent update to Snapchat included the ability to conduct a real-time video conversation.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/09/technology/snapchat-reaches-settlement-with-federal-trade-commission.html

We’ve made our presumptions but now it’s official- all of those Snapchats do not disappear as easily as they are supposed to. Snapchat agreed to settle charges made against the company by the Federal Trade Commission claiming that there were several easy ways to save messages from the service. The company also agreed to revamp its privacy policy so it can no longer misrepresent how it maintains the confidentiality of user information and will be subject to privacy audits for the next 20 years. No monetary fines have been issued to the company yet but these can be incurred in the future if any of the agreements are violated.

Snapchat alerts the sender of a message when the recipient has taken a screenshot. However, there are third-party apps that prevent the sender from receiving this notification. Also, an article posted on BuzzFeed explains how Snapchat videos can be saved following a fairly simple procedure. Lastly, Snapchat transmitted users’ location information and collected sensitive data despite denying that it doesn’t collect such information. The consequence of this was realized when hackers stole information for 4.6 million Snapchat users and posted usernames and partial phone numbers online. Obviously this is disappointing for a company that promotes itself based on the privacy of its users’ data. This is part of the reason why the FTC decided to hold the company accountable to its marketing and privacy claims.

In today’s day and age, we should be conscious of the fact that whatever we put on the internet will be stored there forever. This information is never truly deleted. Keeping this in mind as well as the numerous online security breaches (including the Target credit card fraud that affected 70 million people) should encourage users to think twice before leaving their imprint on social media when it comes to any potentially scandalous material.

Do you think Snapchat’s settlement was too lax? Should the company have been forced to pay a monetary fine? Will you think more about the messages you send on Snapchat or any other platform before transmitting them?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s