With new apps making it to the app store every day, the private data of users are always at risk. A simple bug may expose the personal information of millions of users to hackers who may use the information to their advantage.
But sometimes, it’s not just the bugs or loopholes that leak information but the company behind the app itself. Snapchat, the famous picture messaging app was recently accused of collecting user data without their knowledge and looks like this particular behavior of the company has landed it in trouble.
Snapchat was reportedly in trouble for misleading consumers with false promises and for collection user data without their knowledge. Initially, the app promised its users that all messages sent were deleted after viewing. However, that was not entirely true. The users who received the message could capture the picture in many ways, including the traditional way of taking a screenshot. They could also make use of third party apps to save these messages. So, Snapchat’s claim of making the messages disappear once it was received turned out to be false to some extent. For this particular issue, the company got into trouble with FTC.
But giving false promises wasn’t the only accusation as the complaint by FTC adds that company collected information secretly without proper permission of its users. Further, the information that it gathered was not secured properly which led to the leak of over 4.6 million user phone numbers and data.
But the company has reportedly settled things with FTC and it has also incorporated many changes as suggested by the commission. The settlement forbids Snapchat from, “misrepresenting the extent to which it maintains the privacy, security, or confidentiality of users’ information.”
Along with this restriction, Snapchat will have to launch a comprehensive privacy program which will be monitored for the coming 20 years.
The app has already made a number of changes in its privacy policies, app design and features. Also, many of the concerns raised by FTC over the past few months have been resolved in a number of small updates.
Further the company promises to resolve such issues and strengthen its security.
“We are devoted to promoting user privacy and giving Snapchatters control over how and with whom they communicate. That’s something wave always taken seriously, and always will.”
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