We’ve known for some time that Snapchat‘s privacy claims don’t quite add up, and today the network and the Federal Trade Commission have reached an agreement on that point.
What does this mean? Basically, Evan Spiegel and company will officially admit that snaps don’t really “disappear forever” (they never did) and that recipients may, in fact, preserve the images/clips indefinitely in several ways without letting the sender know.
Here’s the big one: in addition to the false claims about disappearing snaps, the company also copped to collecting and transmitting user data despite claims to the contrary–and its recent security breach theoretically allowed hackers to collect that data.
The company said:
“While we were focused on building, some things didn’t get the attention they could have…we continue to invest heavily in security and countermeasures to prevent abuse.”
They forgot to add “but we didn’t feel the need to be honest with users and risk undermining our product’s key selling point.”
This wasn’t just a slap on the wrist, either. As The New York Times reports:
“The company will also be required to start a wide-ranging privacy program that will be independently monitored for 20 years.”
Are we now a little closer to truth in marketing? Not really. But baby steps count for something, right?