scorecardSnapchat is trying to clear up a major 'misunderstanding' about its new privacy policy
  1. Home
  2. tech
  3. Snapchat is trying to clear up a major 'misunderstanding' about its new privacy policy

Snapchat is trying to clear up a major 'misunderstanding' about its new privacy policy

Snapchat is trying to clear up a major 'misunderstanding' about its new privacy policy
Tech3 min read

evan spiegel snapchat

Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel.

Snapchat has published a blog post denying that it is storing users' private photos indefinitely after a change to its privacy policy last week caused people to freak out over its alleged implications.

The Telegraph, for example, reported that "the photos people take, thinking they are temporary and private, could appear on Snapchat's promotional material, on its website or even its social media accounts."

But Snapchat insists this isn't going to happen. In a statement entitled "Protecting your Privacy" published on November 1, the company emphatically says that "the important point is that Snapchat is not-and never has been-stockpiling your private Snaps or Chats."

As a Snapchat user, you will continue to own all your own snaps. Yes, the terms do "grant Snapchat a worldwide, 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."

But Snapchat didn't add this in during its most recent change. There's a similar section in an older, archived version of its terms of use.

(Whether this is in itself problematic is a slightly different debate.)

Tech Insider noted last week that some of the language in the privacy policy relates to Snapchat's Live Stories. They're curated feeds of snaps submitted for approval by people at an event or location. "You have to willingly submit a snap to be considered for a Live Story, and if it's selected, you should expect that thousands of people will see it - not just your friends," Alex Heath wrote. "According to Snapchat's terms and conditions, appearing in a Live Story means you give Snapchat "unrestricted, worldwide, perpetual right and license to use your name, likeness, and voice in any and all media and distribution channels."

Snapchat addresses this point specifically in its statement. "Our Terms of Service grant us a broad license to use the content you create-a license that's common to services like ours," it says. "We need that license when it comes to, for example, Snaps submitted to Live Stories, where we have to be able to show those Stories around the world-and even replay them or syndicate them (something we've said we could do in previous versions of our Terms and Privacy Policy). But we tried to be clear that the Privacy Policy and your own privacy settings within the app could restrict the scope of that license so that your personal communications continue to remain truly personal."

Here are the "key reasons" for the updated privacy policy, in Snapchat's words:

  • The main thing we did was to rewrite the Terms and Privacy Policy so that they'd read the way people actually talk. We always try to be upfront and clear with our community.
  • We added language to the Terms of Service regarding in-app purchases. We needed to do that now that we're selling Replays-and have some other cool products and services we're looking forward to bringing to you soon.
  • To make it a little easier for friends to find you on Snapchat, we've clarified what info-like your name-will be visible to other Snapchatters and how you can modify that info.

And here's a link to Snapchat's full terms of service, and its privacy policy.

NOW WATCH: We tried the 'Uber-killer' that offers flat fares and no surge pricing