Snap Back

Ever wonder what happens to those deleted pictures from your Snapchat account? While these photos may be hidden from the naked eye after they are sent, many users may have bought into what the developers of Snapchat were cited by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for selling last week. Deception.

According to the FTC, the popular social media application knowingly and falsely promised customers their images, known as “snaps,” would self-destruct after a specified time, determined by the sender. The promise the image would “disappear forever,” was simply a marketing ploy bought by countless Snapchat users in an attempt to appeal to younger users who have grown further into a digital world.

The statement read, “Snapchat deceptively told its users that the sender would be notified if a recipient took a screenshot of a snap. In fact, any recipient with an Apple device that has an operating system pre-dating iOS 7 can use a simple method to evade the app’s screenshot detection, and the app will not notify the sender.”



Snapchat is a popular application for sharing videos and photos

The appeal of Snapchat is a user can send an otherwise embarrassing or lewd photo to a friend that would vanish seconds later. The problem is, the videos and pictures may not vanish. In fact, one can take screenshots or image crops from another camera or device. Sounds like common sense, but for many the thought never crossed their minds. The system has proved not to be full proof.

Many third-party app developers are offering Snapchat-hacking applications where old videos and photos can be downloaded. Additionally,  computer software on the market claims to compile so-called hidden snaps.

The Snapchat app is not a year old yet, having debuted in July 2013, and already has millions of users.

The FTC informed Snapchat they would need to implement a privacy program and may have privacy oversight for multiple years. Snapchat responded to the FTC claim saying on their blog May 8, “We are devoted to promoting user privacy and giving Snapchatters control over how and with whom they communicate. That’s something we’ve always taken seriously, and always will.”



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