Technology, digital media and privacy alert

Snapchat settles FTC charges alleging false promises of disappearing messages and failure to protect consumer data

Snapchat, the developer of a popular mobile messaging app, settled Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that its promises of “disappearing messages” were false and that it transmitted users’ locations and collected their address books without providing notice to users or obtaining their consent.

Complaint

The FTC also alleged that Snapchat misrepresented its data collection practices by transmitting geolocation information from users of its Android app despite saying in its privacy policy that it did not track or access this information. According to the FTC, Snapchat also collected contact information from users’ address books without notice or consent, and continued to do so without notifying users or obtaining their consent until Apple modified its operating system to provide notice with the introduction of iOS 6. 

Finally, the FTC’s complaint alleged that Snapchat’s failure to secure its “Find Friends” feature resulted in a security breach that enabled attackers to compile a database of 4.6 million Snapchat usernames and phone numbers.

Contributing Author

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Allison Fitzpatrick

Allison Fitzpatrick is a partner in the advertising, marketing and promotions practice group of Davis & Gilbert. She represents advertisers, media companies, and agencies in...

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Contributing Author

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Gary A. Kibel

Gary A. Kibel is a partner in the Technology, Digital Media & Privacy at Davis & Gilbert LLP and regularly counsels clients with respect to...

Bio and more articles

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