Snapchat originally rose to popularity thanks to the false sense of security its timed photos provided. It wasn't long before intrepid code monkeys discovered that the app was actually storing photos it claimed to have deleted. That rather blatant oversight has since been corrected, but today the company has revealed that while viewed photos (or "Snaps," as they prefer to call them) are indeed lost forever, previously unseen Snaps can be viewed by certain Snapchat staff -- oh, and they've shared "about a dozen" with law enforcement agencies.
In a lengthy blog post, Snapchat Trust & Safety Director Micah Schaffer detailed just who can access your photos and when.
"Since May 2013, about a dozen of the search warrants we've received have resulted in us producing unopened Snaps to law enforcement. That's out of 350 million Snaps sent every day.
Law enforcement requests sometimes require us to preserve Snaps for a time, like when law enforcement is determining whether to issue a search warrant for Snaps.
Only two people in the company currently have access to the tool used for manually retrieving unopened Snaps, our co-founder and CTO, Bobby (who coded it), and me."
Schaffer went on to explain that Snapchat's new "Stories" feature, which allows specific content to remain available for 24 hours, is subject to the same legal terms as the rest of the content on the service.
So is this something you should worry about? Almost certainly not, unless you believe a law enforcement entity would actually have reason to monitor your 10-second photos. And if that's the case, you probably have bigger issues to worry about.
[via The Verge]