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Opinion

May 12, 2014

In Our Opinion: Privacy is in the eye of the beholder

(Continued)

But users, too, must be thoughtful — and perhaps a little wary — when sharing information online. Time and time again, we seem to be finding that the “private” information we share with companies, or with others online, is anything but. 

Naturally, this makes services such as Snapchat — whose whole marketing platform is based on the idea of disappearing files — all the more appealing. 

However, it need not have taken the FTC to tell us that this system is far from foolproof. In fact, you need only read the company’s own language about its product, which reads, “In most cases, once the recipient has viewed a message, it is automatically deleted from Snapchat’s servers and cannot be retrieved.”

Another way of reading this statement would be, “Not all Snapchat messages are automatically deleted from the company’s servers after they have been read.” 

Never mind “caveat emptor”; after all, this is a free app. How about, “let the user beware”?1

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