Think your Snapchat pictures disappear? Think again

Snapchat iconDue to a couple of random things today in which I got no baby research done due to a multitude of scamware applications being installed in my servers by contractors, I didn’t get a chance to look for baby apps today but I did run across a couple of people talking about how your Snapchat pictures disappear never to be seen again.

A quick end of 2013 edit as this article became pretty popular recently: If you’re not aware, not only are you not guaranteed pictures to disappear, Snapchat can’t even protect your privacy as 4.6 million user names and phone numbers were stolen.

And back to the original piece:

Snapchat is evidently being used by people who don’t understand that anything they send can be captured with the press of a button or two. These people seem to comprise of teenagers sending nudie pics, if the internet is to be believed.

What’s a bit more concerning is that you and your recipient are not directly connected. Your pictures are uploaded to a server where they’re stored until such time as the recipient grabs them, and Snapchat is under no obligation to actually destroy in their entirety the pictures that have been uploaded.

So, by sending a picture to your friend, you’re sending it to at least one third party, and if you send to anyone with an Android device they only have to press Power+Home or Power+Volume Down to capture that picture. For iPhones it’s Power+Home as well.

No extra software required, no great hacker skill, just two fingers to save, or if they’re too lazy to do that, they can get apps like SnapCapture for Snapchat which does it all for you.

Whatever the case, it should be emphasized to anyone that there is never going to be a non-recorded unsaved moment from any application like this in the near future. Anything you send can be copied, intercepted, reposted, hosted, and put on a website calling your kid (or you,) an idiot, and used against you in a court of law.

Now, Snapchat doesn’t claim the images can’t be duplicated with a screen shot, but the implication behind this is that the pictures you send should go away, and that’s simply not guaranteed.

Additionally, in some instances where the pictures are being auto captured by a Snapchat client, your kid is creating sex offenders (assuming they randomly sent it and it wasn’t requested,) or is a sex offender if the image is found by the other party’s parents.

Just something to think about – I have nothing against Snapchat, I just have something against people wrongly believing something that could get a lot of people in a whole heap of trouble.

Snapchat is available for Apple and Android in their respective stores. The ghost icon evidently is supposed to represent your pictures being killed, however I think for more people it’s that that picture will come back to haunt them for the rest of their days.

  • sam

    is there a way to prevent these ‘3rd parties’ from receiving them? or is it unavoidable?

  • Yeah, the snapchat model involves saving to a third party server and retrieving it later. All you really need is a direct verifiable connection to the other device. Then the only people who could get it are the intended recipient, the NSA if they want to spend the time cracking the security of ssl/rsa/whatever.

    However that still leaves the ability for someone to press screenshot, or take a picture of the device. Or if they’ve got a screen hijacker going on someone else could see it