Snap Employees Have Used Internal Snapchat Tools to Spy on Users

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 23, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Some employees of Snap have access to internal tools that allow them to access Snapchat user data and have in the past abused those tools to spy on Snapchat users, reports Motherboard.

    According to two former employees, a current employee, and internal company emails, Snap employees have access to internal tools that let them access location information, saved snaps, phone numbers, and email addresses from users.

    One of the tools, SnapLion, was designed to gather information on users in response to valid law enforcement requests. Snap's Spam and Abuse team has access to Snap Lion, as does a Customer Ops team and security staff. One former employee told Motherboard that SnapLion offers "the keys to the kingdom."

    The SnapLion tool has legitimate purposes and is used for such within the company, but the two former Snap employees confirmed that it's also been used for illegitimate reasons, though information about specific incidents was not made available.
    A Snap spokesperson said that privacy is "paramount" at Snap, and that little user data is kept. What data is stored is protected by "robust policies" to limit the number of employees who have access. "Unauthorized access of any kind is a clear violation of the company's standards of business conduct and, if detected, results in immediate termination," the spokesperson told Motherboard.

    Snap monitors who accesses user data, but the former employees say that the logging procedures aren't perfect, and that years ago, SnapLion did not have robust data protection tools to track what employees were doing. It's not clear if employees are still abusing internal tools, but Motherboard's investigation suggests it did happen in the past.
    Much of what's shared on Snapchat is ephemeral, with content disappearing after a short period of time. Users should be aware, however, that certain data is collected and stored by Snapchat, such as phone number, location data, message metadata (who a person spoke to and when), and some Snap content, such as Memories.

    A full accounting of Motherboard's Snap investigation can be read over on Vice.

    Article Link: Snap Employees Have Used Internal Snapchat Tools to Spy on Users
     
  2. vicviper789 macrumors regular

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  3. lexvo macrumors 65816

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    #3
    "privacy is "paramount" at Snap"

    Why am I not surprised? Google, Facebook, Snap etc.. are alle the same regarding your privacy it seems.
     
  4. TokMok3 macrumors 6502a

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  5. Vanilla35 macrumors 68040

    Vanilla35

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    Don't forget Amazon. Ring has been spying on people for a while, plus Amazon them self.
     
  6. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    #6
    This is why I have no social media accounts whatsoever, because I don’t trust the likes of Snapchat, Facebook, etc. I value my privacy, and at least I can say that Apple does as well, which is why they’re primarily the only company I trust with my information.
     
  7. WinstonRumfoord macrumors 6502

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    #7
    You voluntarily enter personal, private information and photos to these FREE apps... And act surprised when it turns out your data is not quite so "private" any more?

    *surprised pikachu goes here*
     
  8. reden macrumors 6502a

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    This has a lot implications if true, like these people possibly spying on children which is really perverted.
     
  9. now i see it macrumors 68040

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    #9
    Every couple of days, news of major breaches in service agreements and privacy "theft" rolls out in a continuous stream of blunders.
    Face it Ladies & Gents- this whole "privacy" charade is meant for fools.
    There's no privacy using these gadgets (or software)
     
  10. Vanilla35 macrumors 68040

    Vanilla35

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    #10
    Yep, apple's is as well. Every tech person knows that. They take "better" steps to secure it, but it's majority fluff
     
  11. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    None of these ‘voluntary followers’ with social media accounts expect their privacy to be infiltrated without them knowing. It Has nothing to do with who decides to support what type of social media, it has everything to do with these Social media companies having ulterior motive’s.
     
  12. theapplehead macrumors 6502

    theapplehead

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    It was only a matter of time until Snapchat fell in with the likes of FB and Insta. We all knew it would happen....Sigh......
     
  13. Kabeyun macrumors 68020

    Kabeyun

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    #13
    It seems that every day I am reminded how wise I am for steering 100% clear of social networking.
    --- Post Merged, May 23, 2019 ---
    Hear hear.
     
  14. Swaderz macrumors newbie

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    First rule of privacy on the internet is, there is no privacy on the internet.
     
  15. mariusignorello macrumors 68000

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    They don’t care. In fact the employees are probably laughing. And nobody is going to get fired.
     
  16. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #16
    These accusations are rather vague. Some unnamed individuals, sometime in the past, apparently slipped by an internal tracking system and accessed unknown data from unknown persons in unknown ways. I'm not saying it's a false report, but a few more details would make it more of a smoking gun.

    Perhaps it's even a good thing that "employees broadly discuss[ed] the issue of insider threats and access to data, and how they need to be combatted."
     
  17. mi7chy macrumors 603

    mi7chy

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    #17
    Tell that to all the celebrities who had their private nude photos shared on Apple's unintended iCloud social network. At least with Snapchat, Facebook, etc. people knew going in that they're social networks so refrained from storing any incriminating private photos.
     
  18. Jamers99 macrumors regular

    Jamers99

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    What's sad is I wouldn't mind having an Apple HomePod to play some tunes in the Family room but my wife and I both agree the idea of possibly being recorded is too unnerving so we aren't buying one. Stories like this and others mentioned here just confirm our decision.

    Of course we still have iPad, iPhones, and Macs, all of which can also record us with a little help from Apple and the NSA.
     
  19. MengkeMary macrumors newbie

    MengkeMary

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    That's what an ordinary person should expect and prepare for, but not an excuse for companies doing evil.
     
  20. Jimmy James macrumors 601

    Jimmy James

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    Of course they did.

    Yet another case of government related requests resulting in privacy breaches. Sure, Snap should have implemented differently, but still...
     
  21. Crowbot macrumors regular

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    #21
    That was not a breach of Apple's security. The accounts were breached because the users used easy to crack passwords.
     
  22. Williesleg macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Of course they do. So does Apple, Google, Facebook, etc.
    They're all evil. Don't kid yourself. Data is the new oil.
     
  23. Plutonius macrumors 604

    Plutonius

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    #23
    I think that the MacRumors forums qualify as social media.
     
  24. Relentless Power, May 23, 2019
    Last edited: May 23, 2019

    Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    #24
    You thought incorrectly. I don’t share any personal information, family/friend photos or anything of the nature other than discussing _tech_ on this site. Everything I have on this site is remotely restricted/controlled, where social media, people can divulge into your personal life. So your quote inferring MacRumors is not mutually exclusive to a social media site on the aspect on how I interpret it.
     
  25. Jamers99 macrumors regular

    Jamers99

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    #25
    Hey MacRumors, just curious, do you keep logs of IP Addresses of your User posts? Would you turn them over in a heartbeat if some gov't Agency waived some court paper at you. The answer to both I'm betting is Yes and Yes. Would you feel bad about it? Probably not.
     

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