SnapChat BCCs your Snaps to the Feds.

SnapChat, an app on most mobile platforms that allows you to send images to recipients which are then deleted after a short period of time passes (think seconds), has gone public with the number of requests that it receives from “law enforcement branches of the government” on specific accounts and requesting copies of the information stored on these accounts.

According to their latest blog posting, in which they highlight how their service works, they state that in the event that a warrant comes in for the files associated to one or more of their accounts SnapChat is able to hand over any *currently unoppened* Snaps (Snaps are the picture files sent through the app), and hold any future Snaps to BCC to the appropriate agency.

SnapChat has long been used for sharing private data (read: nudes) with other users with the assumption that their “sensitive data” is being protected and will be deleted within 10 seconds of retrieval. This has long been disproved, in July the Atlantic Wire ran a story on how Android devices don’t actually delete your Snaps, and how in iOS, one can simply take a screenshot to save any and all Snaps.

I doubt the sensitive data sharing will slow now that it is public that government agencies can intercept your Snaps.

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2013/07/snapchat-android/66868/

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/10/16/1620249/snapchat-search-warrants-emphasize-data-vulnerability

http://blog.snapchat.com/

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6 thoughts on “SnapChat BCCs your Snaps to the Feds.

  1. The public, especially android users, should be aware of this issue. This is somewhat disturbing because there are photos that we want to delete for good yet we are not even aware that it is just hidden somewhere in your phone.

  2. I can’t imagine that the participants in any really significant crimes would be communicating over SnapChat, but one can never be absolutely sure these days. Although I am unsure as to exactly how effective the government interception of snaps will be, I believe that this is still has the potential to become a useful tool, and I am not surprised that SnapChat does this.

  3. I find it kind of funny how people can think that the snaps just disappear after 10 seconds. Where do they think it goes while it’s unopened?

  4. It makes me think about the photos i use on snapchat. Not that its anything embarrassing, but hearing about how the photos are processed makes me think about more than I used to.

  5. It’s yet another example of a free service that ends up not really being free: you are paying by giving away your privacy. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ are all examples of such services that rely on users’ content to provide value. The whole concept relies on the user trusting the company not to do anything wrong with the data.

    Unfortunately, most of the times this trust is proved to be naive.

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