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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 tokencode (1952944) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @06:14PM (#46954213)
    Yea, not accepting that offer may be one of the dumbest business decisions I've ever seen. There is essentially 0 intellectually property that is not easily reproducible. Now the only stuff you get by acquiring SnapChat is 20 years of oversight and scrutiny and a bad reputation.
  • Smells Fishy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 08, 2014 @06:45PM (#46954435)

    We all know that things like screen grabs can "save" a snap chat on the other side. There is always an analog hole. To get a fine over it is stupid.
    Snap chat's promise is that THEY don't save it - either on their server or in their app. The summary doesn't seem to indicate they did otherwise either.

    This smells of the people at snap chat being invited to Fort Meade (NSA HQ), and told to install a back door (NSA's "collect it all" policy). When they refused (they wouldn't have started the company if they could agree to it), they now face a multi-gajillion dollar fine, and "supervision" guaranteed to drive them out of business.

    I'm pretty sure we're watching the results a shake down. Very likely they are also under a gag order preventing them from speaking out about it.
    If only we had a free press to tell us what really happened...
    Land of the free, indeed.

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