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Snapchat claims to not hand over users' photos without court order

Washington, Oct. 16 : Snapchat has reportedly claimed that it would not hand over photos shared through its site or app without court's order.


The reason for which Snapchat is a preferred app by users is its feature of automatic deletion of a picture taken and sent within a few seconds after the recipient opens it.

However, the Snaps which remain unopened are still accessible by the company and are potentially at risk of being misused.

Snapchat's officer of Trust and Safety, Micah Schaffer, said that the company is capable of manually retrieving photos before they get to their intended recipient, but assured that a warrant is required if federal officials need access to the photos, ABC News reports.

Schaffar said that the federal law called the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) obliges the company to produce the Snaps to the requesting law agency.

Internet privacy lawyer, Bradley Shear said that insisting on a warrant is a positive thing for Snapchat users' privacy as the feds usually ask for a subpoena over a warrant, since it has a much lower level of requirement.

Schaffar further said that since May 2013, the company received a dozen of search warrants for producing unopened Snaps to law enforcement, out of the 350 million Snaps sent everyday.

The report said that even if Snapchat boasts of strict privacy, it might not be equally secure because users have found loopholes including the Android version of the app that maintains a record of Snapchat photos buried in the phone, while another app called SnapHack Pro, lets users save images to its iPhone without sender's knowledge.

--ANI (Posted on 16-10-2013)

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