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Snapchat's Not-So Deleted Photos
By: Jessica Cherok
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It’s been said time and time again — once it has been made public, it’s out there forever. To which Snapchat responded, “Not with us.”

Snapchat, a photo-sharing service allowing the uploader to pick an expiration date for images shared, became wildly popular because it gave users more control over their pictures. That silly, albeit slightly risqué photo may not be so funny when it resurfaces years later, right when you’re trying to land that dream job. Thankfully, Snapchat came to the rescue.


Apparently deleted Snapchat photos can still be accessed on Andriod phones, even after they have been supposedly deleted. And even though the flaw was found by a forensics examiner, the steps to find the images again are surprisingly simple. As in — it wouldn’t take a technologically advanced team of CSI geniuses.

So the "once it has been made public, it’s out there forever" is still true. And probably much to the horror of some of Snapchat’s Andriod users.

The problem may not be limited to Andriod phones, though. A similar flaw for iPhones was also noted by Buzzfeed.

Snapchat’s initial response to the flaw was not quite as comforting as it could have been. Snapchat’s founder, Evan Spiegel, basically said there would always be a risk of photos being recovered, but Snapchat’s users liked the service more than the risk.

If that sounds like a bunch of nonsense to you, try reading the exact quote. It’s not any better.

After all, people didn’t sign up to use Snapchat so that maybe their photos would be deleted forever. The deleting forever part was what made Snapchat better. Without that, what’s the point?

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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