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Snapchat's settlement with FTC over deceitful privacy practices gains final approval

Snapchat's settlement with FTC over deceitful privacy practices gains final approval

January 1, 2015

In May, Snapchat was slapped with a complaint by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accusing the company of carrying out deceitful privacy practices concerning user data on its service. Now, after seeking public comment in the interim, the consumer protection agency has approved a final order that settles its charges against the popular ephemeral messaging startup.

In its complaint, the FTC alleged that Snapchat misrepresented the ephemeral nature of messages sent through its service, which were supposed to be deleted for good after a set time but were actually retrievable through certain workarounds. It also took issue with a major API abuse that led to the hacking of numerous users’ private information.

Now, the FTC has announced that it has finalized a settlement with Snapchat:

The settlement with Snapchat is part of the FTC’s ongoing effort to ensure that companies market their apps truthfully and keep their privacy promises to consumers. It prohibits Snapchat from misrepresenting the extent to which it maintains the privacy, security, or confidentiality of users’ information. In addition, the company will be required to implement a comprehensive privacy program that will be monitored by an independent privacy professional for the next 20 years.

This is just the latest bit of good news with which Snapchat is welcoming the new year. As reported yesterday, it would be compiling its biggest “Our Story” yet in the form of a presentation showing the various New Year’s festivities around the world. And as revealed in an SEC filing, it has raised $485 million, making it one of the most valuable startups in the world.

See also: Just in time for the new year, Apple goes global with its ‘Start Something New’ campaign, Apple facing possible class action lawsuit over ‘massive data footprint’ of iOS 8, and Some Apple Pay users are reporting problems after an iPhone restore.

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