SnapChat is the 17th most downloaded app in 2014. The premise is simple. You take a picture, send it to a friend, and they can only see it for up to 10 seconds before it is deleted forever. This is where the lie begins.

First of all, many people think since they are using a username or screen name, that they are anonymous. This is not true, however, because SnapChat knows who you are, where you are, and they store all your information, which they are legally bound to do.

Currently, the creators of SnapChat are sueing each other over who really created the app in the first place. The case has revealed documents that confirm that SnapChat was first made to be a “safe sexting app.” A big problem though, is that people under 18 may be swapping images that are legally classified as child pornography, and they may be doing it with less apprehension than they would if they were texting, since they assume the person they’re sending the photo to will only see it for a short period of time. However, there’s always that young guy or girl who decides capture or screenshot the image to show their friends. And that’s where the problem begins.

Because the pictures are transferred between users of the app, that image actually touches several servers between your phone and your friends phone. The image goes from your device, to your phone carriers servers, to SnapChats servers, to your friends phone carriers servers, to their phone. That message is logged all of those places, that image is stored on SnapChats servers, that image is stored on your phone, and that image is stored on your friends phone.

What you don’t know, is that when you hit that little “I agree to these terms and conditions” button, you are agreeing that all of the data is owned by SnapChat and that they can do whatever they want with it, which includes selling your photos to make a profit. Why do you think the app is free?

In their privacy policy it clearly states, “We may share information about you as follows or as otherwise described in this Privacy Policy: In connection with, or during negotiations of, any merger, sale of company assets, financing or acquisition of all or a portion of our business to another company.” Basically, SnapChat can sell your pictures to anyone at anytime, and there is nothing you can do about it.

Even if you are a “safe” or “innocent” user of SnapChat, there are still many dangers to be aware of. People need to be aware of what they are agreeing to before signing off on the terms and conditions.

Sophie Bocksnick // Senior Staff Writer

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