Snapchat Settles With FTC Over Claims It Deceived Users About Disappearing Messages

Snapchat settles complaint with FTC over privacy, security concerns.

ByABC News
May 8, 2014, 3:00 PM

May 8, 2014— -- Snapchat agreed to settle charges with the Federal Trade Commission today over promises that photos sent on the mobile messaging service would disappear after a certain time.

It turns out all those ugly selfies didn't always go the way of the friendly Snapchat ghost.

"Snapchat deceptively told its users that the sender would be notified if a recipient took a screenshot of a snap. In fact, any recipient with an Apple device that has an operating system pre-dating iOS 7 can use a simple method to evade the app’s screenshot detection, and the app will not notify the sender," the FTC said in a statement.

It also added that third-party apps with the ability to save the "ephemeral" snaps had been downloaded millions of times.

The FTC also alleged Snapchat wasn’t forthcoming about the amount of private data it collected from users and failed to take proper security precautions, resulting in a breach that allowed hackers to build a database of 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers.

Under the terms of the agreement, Snapchat will be required to implement a comprehensive privacy program and faces 20 years of independent privacy oversight.

In a blog post, Snapchat said the company learned a lot in its early days "by making mistakes, acknowledging them, and fixing them."

"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," the post said.