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Snapchat and It’s Privacy Policy

Photo by Thought Catalog from Unsplash.com

Snapchat is arguably one of the most popular apps among the youth today. Mainly used for communication and keeping in touch with friends, Snapchat is a staple for most middle school through college-aged kids. If your friends have it and you don’t, there is inevitably a feeling of exclusion. To avoids this feelingmany people hop on the trend of getting this app. Each person provides the following information, their name, username, password, email address, phone number, and date of birth. But from there, I don’t think the average person really knows how much information they give up. To test this theory, I asked a W&L first-year student who actively uses Snapchat some questions related to her privacy. 

Interview Transcript

Clearly, the first year did not know the extent to which her information was being utilized but she most definitely not surprised. Today, it is the societal norm that big app companies use our information and know a crazy amount of information about us. Have you ever talked about your desire for new sneakers or looked up jewelry online and then later an ad popped up for sneakers or jewelry?  These apps have a full grasp on every little thing we do.

Now, let’s take a deeper look into Snapchat’s privacy policy. First and foremost, Snapchat specifically makes their policy easily understandable and free of legal terms so that every user can truly understand what they are getting themselves into if they put in the work. Snapchat breaks down what information they have on their users into three categories. 

1) Information The User Provides

An obvious statement but the information that you input into the app like your name, email, and phone number is stored by the app and used to create your profile. 

2) Information Snapchat Gets When The User Uses Their Services

Snapchat analyzes every interaction you have with the app and uses it to continue to learn more information. This includes, but not limited to, the people you Snapchat (how often and for how long), your cellular device information, your photos, and personal stickers, your location and your frequently visited places, and all of the Snapchats and messages you send.  

3) Information Snapchat Gets From Third Parties 

If you connect your Snapchat to any other apps, like Bitmoji, then Snapchat has access to the information on that app.  

They go onto share this information with any and all Snapchatters, business partners, the general public, affiliates, and third parties. Most of this is just basic public information like your name, username, and profile pictures. Snapchat also can share your information for legal, safety, and security reasons. Another way a user’s information can be transported is if Snap inc. Gets involved in a merger, asset sale, financing, liquidation or bankruptcy, or acquisition of all or some portion of our business to another company.  

 This interview made me think about the article by Estee Beck titled “Breaking up with Facebook: Untethering from the Ideological Freight of Online Surveillance.” (https://hybridpedagogy.org/breaking-facebook-untethering-ideological-freight-online-surveillance/) Even though these social media apps have full control of our lives now, will we ever reach the point where we need to break away from  How much of Estee Beck’s information was taken before she went off the gird? How far away is this generation away from that point?  

 

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