The Perils of Snapchat

Description:  CNN’s Samuel Burke looks at the new Snapchat Leaked website, which reveals people’s private photos.


Date: May 31 2013


Click on link to see video case

Questions for discussion:

1.  Do you see this issue with Snapchat as a problem? Why or Why not?

2.  What are some possible downsides of this service?


20 thoughts on “The Perils of Snapchat

  1. Liz Martin

    I think the creators have been a little naive by not expecting the privacy control issues that have evolved with snapchat. One of the creators, Evan Spiegel, says Snapchat was “developed to counteract the trend of users being compelled to manage an idealized online identity of themselves which he says has ‘taken all of the fun out of communicating’.” It was developed as a way of being silly, of letting parents know where their kids are, and sharing funny, one-time moments in life.
    However, I can definitely see Snapchat posing problems, because it leaves the consensual part of the application up to the users; they are responsible for determining what should stay private or not. As the news report shows, the app also doesn’t prevent people from taking pictures of snapchats with shortcut camera methods on their phones. Another one of the problems with it is that the information doesn’t just disappear, as the company makes it out to; even though the image disappears within the chosen amount of time, with enough effort it will always be possible to recover content once data has been transmitted to a general purpose device owned by another user.

    Obviously I think that the effects of this application will depend on how it is used. If users don’t want anything they send to be shared, then I don’t think they should send it in the first place. I commend the app for including the feature about letting the sender know that the receiver has taken a pictue of the snapchat, but I think it needs to install a function that allows the sender to shut down the usage of a picture that has been saved contrary to the sender’s volition. Overall I think there needs to be more consent built into the application.

  2. Yaqian Diao

    I do not think this issue with Snapchat would be a problem. Existence is reasonable. Snapchat appearing means that a group people need this method to communicate with their friends. They want to send each other some special pictures and text. They might feel that it is interesting to use snapchat, and the snapchat brings fun and happiness to their life. On the other hand, if you can not accept what are in the snapchat, you can give it up. It is not forcibly to use snapchat. First of all, the sexting pictures are allowed via snapchat. The problem is that some people may send others’ photos, who don’t like to share their photos with other people, to the Internet without permission. The behaviors would divulge individual privacy. It is illegal and unethical. Secondly, the function of privacy is important. When uploading something to the Internet, people always can find it even though they have already deleted. But sometimes, people want to absolutely delete what they have sent, because they just want the pictures are showed to whom exactly they would like to show.

  3. Ahmed Awad

    The philosophy of this app is fabulous and the idea of having a picture that self-destruct after few seconds is actually cool. However with any new idea weather for an app or a program on pc, people will always find a way to misused it. The reporter says “what goes online stays online “and this creates a multiple problems. First is the privacy issue, while this apps claims to destroy the image after certain time, it might be not true, people thinks it’s correct. Second, people are being fooled when believing this misleading info and think it true and they start to use it based on that. They think that they can post adult-pornographic images to their partner without worrying about it. Personally I don’t think that snapchat is the problem, its end user problem. The lock of knowledge and believing everything is the issue. There was also another app called Vine where it allowed people to record 6 second of video and post it online. When this app first came out people started misusing it by posting nude video of themselves , so you really can’t blame it on the service. Some of the possible downside of misusing these services could include, leaked photos, sexting with strangers, and personal information being shared with everyone (strangers).while many people thing that the app deletes the photo and no one else can see it after deletion it is not true and it could be retrieved by hackers and advanced users.

  4. Songxuan Wu

    With the development of Internet, more and more people depend on online information. Especially, some teenagers like to post their daily photo and information on the Internet, and they often do not consider the negative affect such as their private date exposed to Hacker. Even though the Snapchat focus on how to effectively protect user’ information, it give some thieves and Hacker a time range to get information and most users do not worried about their information that would be exposed. In my opinion, users do not totally depend on the Snapchat, and they should decrease the number of private information in any websites. Snapchat cannot support that it would not make a mistake. I think Snapchat is in a growth stage since this is a brand that the picture cannot be saved on the phone and they will disappear by automatically. For Users, who fail to take care for technology and should not excessively blame the Snapchat for their fault. This situation is not unique to Snapchat, users had better to consider the importance of the personal information safety. Teenagers must pay attention on this issue because most of them trust virtual world, and be happy to share their photo on the Internet.

  5. Xinying Du

    In nowadays, many app want people to fill their personal information to register an account. For example, Facebook, twitter always want people to fill email, name, birthday or telephone to register an account. Some of them also want people to put their person photo on it so it is convenient for people to find their friends. Putting person information on the internet is not safe. There are different kinds of people on the internet. We cannot guarantee that other people do not use your photo as other purpose. The article said that snapchat do not save picture. I think it is good. It protects people’s private in some case. Also, I doubt that if the snapchat really delete those photos from the internet. There are many cases that if people delete some files forever, the IT employees can find it back. Therefore, if snapchat can delete those photos on the internet forever, then we can trust it and use it. If not, we should not put our photos on the internet anymore. The snapchat should be test to see if it works.

  6. Eric Choi

    Yes, I do see potential problems with this app, however I do see that SnapChat can be very useful. For example, almost all the apps or softwares now have the “personal disclaimer” stating that the information that is stored will not be used or sent to other companies. But also, knowing that there is storage of personal information of you does make people feel uneasy and uncomfortable where the data can be stored when in fact, it says it is deleted.

    The downside of SnapChat could be the same problem Facebook could be facing, where the data of users are in fact, not deleted but stored and it takes long time to be deleted. Another downside could be, the picture could be sent to people that is not intended to be sent to. There should be more of a security function where both parties could share a password and knows that the picture is going to be shared.

  7. Carlie Willimont

    I do see several issues with Snapchat, these being the misleading representation that your pictures will be deleted for good, that they wont end up on the internet and also that people are sending information of their whereabouts at all times to possible strangers. I think people who actually believed that these pictures will never be saved on anyone’s device or spread to the Internet is just not using any common sense. Also people sending pictures of where they are throughout the day is obviously not a great idea. Sure when you’re sending it to your best friend, who cares. However Snapchat allows random users to add you and send you messages which I’m sure many teens just agree to and meet new people now giving their personal information and whereabouts to complete strangers. However I don’t think Snapchat is the problem, I think it’s the lack of knowledge and common sense of the users. Possible downsides to the service include leaked pictures, personal information being shared to unknown users and of sexting. People think because the app deletes the photo that no one else would ever see the picture or be able to spread it on the Internet however its clear that this isn’t true and many people are ending up in bad situations.

  8. Calvin Chu

    In my opinion, I don’t think this issue is a problem to me. Nowadays, everyone use internet and application widely and spreadly. Also young teenagers have tons of way to access many different kind of website and get the information they worry about every easy. The government can try to bring bunch of reason to block some users to access some certain wesite. However, people might think this is not fair or it is against their freedom. In my understanding, the software snapchat provide a way to support users and give them an easier way to access to certain kind of information. There are other problem can occur. For example whenever you access to some website, advertisments keep come out and make you feel bad. I consider it is internet problem but not the software.
    There are advantage and there are also disadvantage. Teenager is really the issue we have to duel with. Around 12 – 20 years old. When teenagers or kids still young and not old enough to understand some basic stuff. Everything seem new and interesting to them. They will spend tons of time to think how to access the resource which they want to no matter how hard it is or what is it. The main drawback is, as snapchat is popular and wide use, many teenagers really get addicted to this software.

  9. Litchi Peng

    Nowadays, as the development of Smartphones, more and more people come up with some creative ideas to make apps in order to rich people’s lives. In some way, it is not safe to use these kind of apps especially entering personal information or taking pictures. For me, I like sharing my life in time. Taking pictures of I see and what I am doing today. I think it is a good way to share my life with my friends no matter where I am. However, as the video said, young people can share some private pictures with boyfriend or girlfriend. Even though pictures can disappear by the time you set, I still think it is not a good idea to send some private pictures. Technology cannot guarantee that it will not make a mistake. I think snapchat is in growth stage since this is a brand new idea that the picture cannot be saved on the phone and they will disappear by automatically. This new function may attract some users and this is their competitive advantage among a variety of apps. However, the speed of technology developed very fasts, some developer may make more multifunctional apps. Thus, in my opinion, there are some possible downsides of the service.

  10. Regi Rocha

    I see lots of issues from Snapchat and the Snapchat leaked site. First they mislead users to think the app will delete the picture for good after a set amount of time, and then there was no warning about the possibility of these pictures being exposed on the internet. Third, this app didn’t warn users not to send private or intimate pictures. I believe a lot of people were betrayed by this app and the consequences of these pictures being exposed can be more bullying, suicides or loss of reputation. This will affect young people even harder since they are the ones who exchange lot of pictures.

    The downsides of this service are obvious starting with the leaking of private pictures that will eventually lead to a big liability or a law suit from users. Another downside is the reputation of this app and those who created it; their reputations may suffer as more inappropriate, private pictures are posted. There is even the potential for something as evil as child pornography, since most of minors don’t understand yet how dangerous this kind of app can be. Young people don’t recognize how damaging something like this can be, and like the news report said, maybe parents need to show their children the leaked pictures to make them understand how much damage this can cause.

  11. Kristina Madarasz

    I think that there is some underlying issue with any app out there. If we looked at some apps out there more closely, im sure we could find some legal issues with them such as storing personal information that they shouldn’t, for example, apps that specifically store your personal information, how do we know someone wont use that information to steal your identity on the back end? I think that snapchat is only in the spotlight at the moment because it rapidly gained popularity.

    I do that that this app could pose a problem for those that are naive in the fact that they don’t think someone will take a picture of the picture someone snap-chatted them and distribute it to an audience they may not want it going too. I think if you use snapchat with the mind set that someone else other than the intended person may see it, that there wouldn’t be a privacy problem, however, this may be a problem with the people using the app who are still in high school. They may not realise this and be sending “sexting” kind of material to someone not thinking that they would distribute it to others.

    As far as saving the app makers from any legal issues in the future, I think that everytime the app is opened that there should be a warning to the users, cautioning them to be careful with who they send their photo’s too.

  12. Kai Zhao

    1. No, I personally do not take this issue as a problem at all. Nowadays, internet using and applications are so widely spread, people, especially young teenagers always have ways to access to some kind of websites and get information they are interested in. There is nothing you can do, if government block these porny stuff or forbidden users to access, then people could use democracy and freedom to against the government. To my point of view, this software, Snapchat just support an easy way for users to access into this kind of information. Moreover, there are many other picture vast issues anyway. When I am trying to watch a basketball game from first row sports, at least 5 webs come out automatically with naked women and porny information. Therefore, this is more like an Internet problem, not a single software’s problem
    2. The only downside in this case is teenagers’ issue. During the age between 12 and 18, while these kid are still in adolescent period, they are tend to be interested in many things, especially for porny stuff, which is most of parents are trying to get them away from. As Snapchat is being popular and wide used, this young generation might get influenced by the information they may get to know accord to this software. Furthermore, at this age, they are too young to know how they should protect themselves from this software, and it would be difficult to drop a line between using it appropriately and overuse it.

  13. Jingyi Wang

    I do not have this application on my iphone, so I do not know how interesting it is and how attractive it can be to the kids, but what I have is a kind of similar one that is very popular among my friend called Super Star Face. The super star face will request you to upload 9 pictures of yourself, which should be clear enough for the app to identify your face details, and the app will atomatically match you with the film stars, singers, or even a soccer player. Many of my friends are using this appication, and I will see their photos everyday on my phone. Just as the host worried in the video, I have saved some of my friends photos that I think interesting and special, and I do believe many other people have done the same thing as what I have done.

    But now I can see that there is a problem that, since everyone will see your picture on the internet, and this information will be collected as part of the big data and linded to your personl file in many companies, which will include your bank, your hight, your weight and so on. Once you have something happened, people will search you on the internet easily and everyone will know who you are, what you have done and how you look like. The example is the one mentioned in the video, you date with different person, and the last one you date with may use your picture to do someting bad to you. So, what the hosts are worried is the thing that should take into people’s consideration.We must help kids to know how to protect themselves and build their sence of personal pravicy.

  14. Jill

    Personally I do not see the issue with Snapshot as a problem because I know there is no way to control who can access the pictures, even though Snapchat says the photos will be deleted. If I don’t want anyone to know what I do, then I just don’t do it and that is especially true of what I put on the Internet. However, pictures and other content on the Internet can be a problem for people who may not realize how vast the Internet is and that the Internet is forever. While we all want to believe that our personal information will remain personal, recent stories from Canadian and American news stress the very sad consequences that can occur when inappropriate pictures appear on the Internet. Parents and caregivers need to teach children that the Internet is not a void and there are serious problems when inappropriate information is sent by text or shared on the Internet. Less serious consequences may include being passed over for a job when a future employer searches for potential employee. As long as the user is aware of potential consequences, then the user is responsible for how they use the app.

  15. Victoria Wells

    This issue that Snapchat is dealing with is not a unique one. Sexting/adult uses for phones have resulted in many undesirable consequences. It’s a problem that Snapchat is not responsible for. While the app tries to eliminate the permanence of images through the time limit, screen-shots overcome this security measure. As has been suggested previously, the company should include during sign up, and perhaps even every time the user opens the app, a disclaimer that removes the organization from any legal responsibility for misuse. The app is designed to have “snaps” of an image sent to other members, not permanent images. If a user decides to send a private or personal image, he/she is the one responsible for any foul play that occurs. If users decide to use the app improperly and not how it was intentionally designed, then the onus falls on the users. I’d hate to use a clichéd metaphor for the risk people take with sending private photos, but if you play with fire, you’re going to get burned. Users need to be prepared for any of the resulting actions. Snapchat shouldn’t police users.

    The only real downside to this particular service is the one mentioned in the video. Users who fail to take precautions with technology should not blame the technology for their decisions. This issue is not unique to Snapchat and, in all honesty, is not an issue with the software. It’s just yet another app that allows friends to exchange picture/video messages without eating away at someone’s allotted text messages per month on their bill.

  16. Cameron Pituley

    I do not believe there is actually anything wrong with Snapchat. I think the issue lies with how people are using Snapchat. The idea of sending private photos that, supposedly, no one can hold onto is pretty appealing to most. When someone sends private information over the web in any way, shape, or form they should understand there are possible consequences. One consequence specifically pertaining to Snapchat is the posting of a photo without the permission of the individual who took it. If you are using Snapchat inappropriately you should be aware of possible repercussions and use your best judgment when sending photos or videos to friends or significant others. Snapchat is not at fault for people exploiting each other.

    I see one main downside to the service offered by Snapchat and that is the risk of having private images made public. The downside is not a result of what Snapchat offers. The downside is a direct result of the people using it and how they choose to use the images that are sent to them. The concept of Snapchat is interesting and can be quite entertaining. was intended to be used for uploading funny or entertaining images, not sexually explicit ones. I personally like Snapchat and think user discretion should be advised.

  17. Brad Melchin

    I don’t see this issue with Snapchat to be a problem. If it was Snapchat themselves storing a database of pictures that were meant to be private, then there would be a huge problem and probably a lawsuit on their hands. The issue in this video is no different than someone sending private texts to someone, and then someone using those texts to post your photos on a site. I’m sure most people know that you can take a screenshot with your mobile device, so they should understand the risk that someone would do that to their private photo. This option to take a screenshot with Snapchat should only be an issue for those that don’t know that you can take a screenshot of your mobile device. Otherwise, if you do know of the screenshot capabilities, then don’t send out photos that you wouldn’t want others to see.

    I think it is more the user’s fault, than the service’s fault. Nonetheless, there are still a couple downsides of this service. The first major problem is that many people are putting their image at risk. Having private photos of yourself up on a site for all to see could hurt you in areas such as relationships, employment, religion, etc. Even though the photo was private when you sent it, others that see the photo might think that you willingly put the photo up on the site, which offers a totally different perspective of the user. The second major problem is under-aged pornography. Who is to stop someone from posting a picture of their 15 year old boyfriend or girlfriend with nothing on?

  18. Sean Annis

    I see snap chat as a tool to be used at an individuals discretion. Just like a hammer this can be used to have fun or be destructive. ‘Sexting’ has always been an issue, and honestly i feel this app was put up as a way to sext without the other end having a permanent photo of you. I think if someone chooses to send a nude photo that it there choice. Unfortunately the demographic that is sending these photos are young and ignorant to the consequences of their actions.
    If anyone took to the time and thought what would happen if this photo ended up on Facebook or twitter, they would likely not send the photo in the first place. Personally i have the app on my android and i think it is fun, because you not only get to talk but you can actually see what the person is doing which makes a conversation my more personal and interesting. I like the app. i think if you use it for inappropriate reasons that you are taking the risk upon yourself.

    This type or service could send a false sense of security to people who are thinking of sending explicit photos. also i know that it can be easy to send a photo to someone whom you didn’t intend to receive the photo which could lead to trouble. I think there is risk is everything that one chooses to do. and it is up to the individual to decide how much of a risk they are willing to take.

  19. theblogofbryan

    I actually just wrote an article about snapchat being under FTC Investigation for claiming to delete photos when they are in fact, NOT deleted. Hence the reason sites like that exist. I see a site like this as no different then any other “candid” photo type of site where people decide to post nude pictures of their x-girlfriends and such. The only issue here is that snapchat claims they are safe because data is shared in the moment, when really it can easily be uncovered by even a novice computer user. The only thing that makes this site unique is that snapchat pictures are “supposed” to be removed, so it creates curiosity when a website says “Leaked snapchat pictures everyone!). If you want to take a look at how these pictures are uncovered, feel free to look at my post:

  20. Matthew Malm

    I believe that SnapChat has enough useful applications that this issue should not be a problem for the app itself. However, for the users, there should be a disclaimer as you open the app on every occasion that states something along the line of “this is not a service based on privacy, never share private photos over this service”. Just to remove any potential litigation from being infringed upon SnapChat Inc. As mentioned in the video, any mobile device or computer can take a Screen Capture of the contents being displayed so no one is safe from this potential threat. Users need to be informed to only send pictures to those people that you trust.

    Well the issue presented in the video is really the only downside I can think of. However, there is an additional benefit that is overlooked with these types of apps. The practical applications in industries such as modeling, apparel, and marketing are often overlooked. Although the app specifically works on a text to text basis, SnapChat Inc. could develop a public stream were those people who “need” attention or are offering a new-style/look/etc can receive feedback from the public. This would be similar to a recent adaptation or iteration of Facebook. I guess a potential disadvantage to using this service is the data trail that is forgone by using the service. A photo is generally between 1 – 5 megabytes in size and the transfer of data through 3G or Wifi is required to use it. If a picture is only displayed for 10 seconds and you receive a couple hundred of them over the course of a month from friends and family, you could wind up with excessive data bills from your service provider.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s