The new policy gives Snapchat free reign over every single piece of content posted—snap stories, private snaps, snap faces, your inside jokes, and yes, even your nudes. Snapchat owns it all. And thus, they reserve to right to do whatever the fuck they want with it.
Of course, this wasn’t always the case. Snapchat’s previous policy explicitly stated: “In most cases, once we detect that all recipients have viewed a message, we automatically delete it from our servers.”
Now, it says this: “You grant Snapchat a world-wide, perpetual, royalty-free, sublicensable, and transferable license to host, store, use, display, reproduce, modify, adapt, edit, publish, create derivative works from, publicly perform, broadcast, distribute, syndicate, promote, exhibit, and publicly display that content in any form and in any and all media or distribution methods.”
Phew. Translation: we’re fucked. That covers everything—selling your photos, marketing with your snaps, syndicating them to 3rd-parties, and publicly displaying your content in any and all ways imaginable.
Considering 30% (!) of millennial internet users access Snapchat regularly, the start-up suddenly acquired a whole lot of dick pics. Like way too many dick pics.
But face it. Snapchat is addictive, and user’s would never ditch the service en masse—even if they were fully aware of the policy—because it’s too damn fun. For many, leaving the service would bring social alienation.
What’s so troubling, however, is not the blatant disregard for privacy, or profiting from selling other’s personal lives (hey, we’re used to it), but the utterly seamless way in which it’s done.
Such proves the norm for most tech services and mobile apps. Recently, Spotify quietly rolled-out a privacy update, allowing them access to user’s contacts, photos, and location. The company has since clarified the reason for this, but that doesn’t make it any less creepy.
Facebook and Instagram own everything posted on their networks as well.
It appears, one must assume that anyone can access their private information at will; this is the era of the NSA, after all. But that’s a government agency with regulations and (thankfully) Edward Snowden.
What happens when a public corporation stores your most intimate moments on a server, reserving the right to retrieve them if the mood should strike? (Or worse, a hacker does.)
Lastly, if we could see everyone in the world naked, would it still be fun? Stay tuned.