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May 16th, 2014
FTC Settles with Snapchat over Alleged Privacy and Security Violations
Snapchat Inc., developer of a popular mobile photo and video messaging app designed to bring the fabled self-destructing message to life, has agreed to settle FTC allegations that it misrepresented its privacy and data security practices - including that its messages could be made to "disappear forever" seconds after viewing.
The FTC complaint alleged that Snapchat made the following misrepresentations, among others:
- Although recipients could use third-party apps to save snaps indefinitely, Snapchat represented that senders of messages, or "snaps," could control how many seconds a recipient had to view the snap. The complaint alleged Snapchat did nothing to address this issue, even after receiving a security researcher's warning.
- Snapchat stored video snaps on recipients' devices in a location that remained accessible to recipients who connected their device to a computer and searched the device's file directory.
- Snapchat failed to secure its "Find Friends" feature, resulting in a security breach permitting hackers to compile millions of Snapchat usernames and phone numbers. The company also failed to verify users' phone numbers, which resulted in users sending personal snaps to strangers who registered phone numbers that did not belong to them.
Read full FTC press release - "Snapchat Settles FTC Charges That Promises of Disappearing Messages Were False".
For more information on this settlement or any other advertising or marketing law issues, please contact Greg Boyd at (212) 826 5581 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Terri Seligman at (212) 826 5580 or email@example.com, Claudine Wilson at (212) 705 4842 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or any other member of the Frankfurt Kurnit Advertising Group. For more alerts and general announcements from our firm, follow us on Twitter.
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