In an age of instant gratification and impatience, especially when signing up up for a new service or app, there’s no time to read all the terms and conditions we claim we have agreed to. Companies are becoming increasingly aware of the negligence users have when ticking off the ‘I accept’ and ‘I have read’ boxes. It is for this reason that privacy policies are becoming more user-friendly and easy to read, the approach recently taken up by Snap Inc.
Snapchat’s policies have evolved over the years, but it is important to see where it all began. In 2015, their terms of service stated that by using the app,
“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” — Secure Market Watch
Snapchat faced investigation by the Federal Trade Commission in 2017 for not having upheld their promise of privacy and security. A few examples can be found in an article written by Information Week, which highlights troublesome scenarios wherein personal privacy is compromised.
The aforementioned data, as well as all photos and videos, are stored on the Snapchat servers. Don’t be fooled. Should there ever be a hack, all of that data is free for the world, and there is nothing you can do about it.
All in all, the cost of sending photos and videos with the illusion of self-destruction comes at a hefty price. Your data shared on the app is in the hands of Snap Inc. You have given full permission for them to do with it as they please. Is it worth it?