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Snapchat invading privacy

Snapchat is used by a lot of people to broadcast their short videos
and other things like Memes. As Snapchat always underlines the
statement: “Your data is secure and your privacy is our concern”,
this could leave a black spot on their white vest.

According to several news, it seems as if employees of SnapChat have misused internal tools to access sensitive data of users, like location data (GPS), phone numbers, and stored pics in the Snapchat app.

Usually these tools are subject to usage when it comes to spam, service abuse or law enforcements (i.e. felony or criminal actions) which require access to sensitive data.

Vice based their statement upon various sources and internal mails:

Several departments inside social media giant Snap have dedicated tools for accessing user data, and multiple employees have abused their privileged access to spy on Snapchat users, Motherboard has learned […]

Multiple sources and emails also describe SnapLion, an internal tool used by various departments to access Snapchat user data.

And further:

One of the internal tools that can access user data is called SnapLion, according to multiple sources and the emails. The tool was originally used to gather information on users in response to valid law enforcement requests, such as a court order or subpoena, two former employees said. Both of the sources said SnapLion is a play on words with the common acronym for law enforcement officer LEO, with one of them adding it is a reference to the cartoon character Leo the Lion. Snap’s “Spam and Abuse” team has access, according to one of the former employees, and a current employee suggested the tool is used to combat bullying or harassment on the platform by other users. An internal Snap email obtained by Motherboard says a department called “Customer Ops” has access to SnapLion. Security staff also have access, according to the current employee. The existence of this tool has not been previously reported.

SnapLion provides “the keys to the kingdom,” one of the former employees who described the abuse of accessing user data said.

So in conclusion, Snapchat is breaking with their own privacy focus, where pictures after viewing are deleted again and stories being kept for a maximum of 24 hours.

This should show us that shared data on social media can have unwanted side effects and/or be a gate into the own privacy without knowing it.

Shame on you, SnapChat!


May 26, 2019 Netspark - 1409 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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