Snapchat will face 20 years of independent monitoring after settling charges alleged by the Federal Trade Commission that the ephemeral messaging and video service had misrepresented itself to consumers.
Though Snapchat has advertised that its messages “disappear forever,” the FTC remarked that there were “several simple ways that recipients could save snaps indefinitely,” according to the settlement -- including with third-party apps and screenshots.
Additionally, the commission took issue with the fact that Snapchat claimed it did not collect personal user data -- though a security breach of 4.6 million users’ names and phone numbers earlier this year clearly illustrates that it had.
“If a company markets privacy and security as key selling points in pitching its service to consumers, it is critical that it keep those promises,” wrote FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez in the decision.
For its part, Snapchat responded to the settlement in a curt blog post, which affirmed the company’s commitment to transparency but noticeably lacked an apology.