Snapchat’s New ‘Scary’ Privacy Policy has Left Users Outraged

© Provided by MarketWatch
© Provided by MarketWatch 

Snapchat on Wednesday released a new update for its app and, with it, a new privacy policy that dramatically changes what the social network can do with the images users post.

First launched in 2011, the social networking app became popular among young people in particular for its “disappearing” photo messages that can’t be viewed again once they have been opened.

But an update to the Snapchat Terms of Service indicates that Snapchat has the rights to reproduce, modify and republish your photos and save those photos to Snapchat’s servers.

Actor and former White House Associate Director of Public Engagement Kal Penn made waves on the Internet when he pointed out some of the major changes to Snapchat’s policy.

“You grant Snapchat a world-wide, perpetual, royalty-free, sublicensable, and transferable license to host, store, use, display, reproduce, modify, adapt, edit, publish, create derivative works from, publicly perform, broadcast, distribute, syndicate, promote, exhibit, and publicly display that content in any form and in any and all media or distribution methods,” the Terms of Service state.

Snapchat users are being asked to accept the updated terms after downloading the new version of the app, but the details of the new privacy policy aren’t immediately visible. Users must go to a different page to dig into those details.

The statement comes in contrast to the former version of Snapchat’s privacy policy, which said, “delete is our default.” The former policy said: “In most cases, once we detect that all recipients have viewed a message, we automatically delete it from our servers.”

Messages in Snapchat’s “Replay” feature, or those added to the “My Story” feature and Snapcash, which is Snapchat’s transaction feature, have always been saved to Snapchat servers.

Some Snapchat users expressed outrage over the fact that their “snaps” may no longer be as private as they once were. People are saying the update is “scary” and makes them want to delete their accounts.

Instagram’s terms of service similarly grant the company a royalty-free license to use contents posted through the social network, though Instagram has never claimed to be a private or ephemeral messaging service. Facebook’s privacy policy also grants the company rights to a royalty-free, world-wide license to user’s content, but that only applies to content published under the “Public Setting.”

Users say they have found some silver lining in the new policy. People are happy that it is mostly free of legal jargon.

Written by Sally French of MarketWatch

(Source: MarketWatch)

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