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Take a Picture: Snapchat Settles With FTC Over "Dissapearing" Claims 51

Posted by timothy
from the if-it-reaches-an-output-device-it-can-reach-an-input-device dept.
The New York Times is one of many outlets reporting that Snapchat has agreed to settle with the FTC about the gap between promises made about the company's "disappearing" communications system and reality. "The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday said Snapchat had agreed to settle charges that the company was deceiving users about the ephemeral nature of the photos and video messages sent through its service. The messages were significantly less private than the company had said, the commission said. In marketing the service, Snapchat has said that its messages “disappear forever.” But in its complaint, the commission said the messages, often called snaps, can be saved in several ways. The commission said that users can save a message by using a third-party app, for example, or employ simple workarounds that allow users to take a screenshot of messages without detection." Besides the monetary side of the settlement (details of which are promised soon on the FTC's site), the company has agreed to operate for the next 20 years with special supervision of a new privacy program; it seems a little optimistic as a timeframe for any social-media related business. Here are the FTC's charges (PDF).
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Take a Picture: Snapchat Settles With FTC Over "Dissapearing" Claims

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  • by Scowler (667000) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @05:24PM (#46954273)
    The entire point of Snapchat was proven to be an advertising lie. That's different than, say, bullet 12 on three pages of advertising claims turns out to be an exaggeration. How could the FTC ignore this one?
  • by Aeonym (1115135) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @05:26PM (#46954291)

    There are plenty of people who believe that being the first person to implement a moderately clever idea makes them indispensable to the modern information economy.

    Of course, a disproportionate number of those people are in their twenties and have no real experience or conception of how the wider world works...kind of like Snapchat's founders.

  • by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @06:01PM (#46954533) Homepage

    Its funny when the government attacks you for providing secure communications. Then they attack you for having insecure communications.

    I suppose snapchat should have said, "the pictures disappear from OUR servers"... but in the end you have a government agency assigning itself powers and jurisdictions, and deciding punishments all by itself.

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