Snapchat admits deleted photos aren’t really deleted

The photo-messaging app claimed that photos were automatically erased as soon as recipients saw them, but that’s not really the case.

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The FTC points out that third-party apps can be used to log into the Snapchat service, and because the deletion feature only functions in the official Snapchat app, recipients can view and save snaps indefinitely.

The revelation was made during an FTC complaint accusing the app service of secretly recording users’ physical location and allowing hackers to steal 4.6 million user names and phone numbers. Snapchat has agreed to settle those charges. Snapchat copped to the shady practice in a recent blog post:

While we were focused on building, some things didn’t get the attention they could have. One of those was being more precise with how we communicated with the Snapchat community. This morning we entered into a consent decree with the FTC that addresses concerns raised by the commission. Even before today’s consent decree was announced, we had resolved most of those concerns over the past year by improving the wording of our privacy policy, app description, and in-app just-in-time notifications. And we continue to invest heavily in security and countermeasures to prevent abuse.”

The FTC spiked the proverbial football and did an end zone dance with the following statement:

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