Hacking Rhetoric

James Pinkerton – Snapchat and User Privacy


We talk a lot about whether or not people’s privacy can really be guaranteed online, and usually the enemy we imagine hunting for our info is a government or company. I found a news article that proved that sometimes it isn’t giant faceless entities that try to breach our privacy and trust… Sometimes it can be our close friends. A man named Darren Jones recently created an app that allows users to save Snapchat pictures and videos. There are already apps that do this, but the thing that distinguishes this one is that it doesn’t alert the sender when a Snapchat is saved. Darren Jones made this app because he wanted to alert people that apps like this do exist and people’s Snapchats might not be as private as originally thought. This app, called Snaphack, is probaby going to be taken down soon by Snapchat, but the author’s purpose was admittedly grey-hat. He warns people that they need to think twice before sending an image that they expect will be deleted soon. This is especially true for anyone who is foolhardy enough to use Snapchat for sexting, because personal images could be saved and shared without the sender ever becoming aware. Privacy is vulnerable from all angles, and people should be careful when making anything digital and permanent.


4 thoughts on “James Pinkerton – Snapchat and User Privacy

  1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24533919

    I forgot to add the link to the news story

  2. After reading the title of your blog post I was immediately alarmed. I thought that the official SnapChat company had done something like saved every user’s Snapchats. Upon reading the rest of your post, however, I was relieved to find out that it was actually another app, Snaphack. It’s still a bit unnerving that something like Snaphack exists because it basically renders the purpose of Snapchat useless. I, too, agree that people should be more careful about what they send over Snapchat because they never know how it could be used against them.

  3. Wow! This is so interesting! I love what you said about the giant faceless entities. I think it’s so easy to hate and blame the government or big corporations for everything, but then when it’s people that are close to you, everything seems a little bit different. I completely agree with you on the fact that people are too careless about what they send on Snapchat because, even if you think you know the person well, you never know where those pictures can end up. On the regular Snapchat app, it does tell you when the other person takes a screenshot, but by that point, it’s already done and there is nothing that you can do about it. The person is in possession of your picture and they can do whatever they want with it. I actually just checked and Snaphack is still available in the iPhone App store, but it is not available in the Android App store. Thanks for posting this!

  4. A friend of mine once figured out how to screenshot Snapchats secretly without an outside app. I think you had to screenshot by holding down the power button and home button (iPhones) at the same time and then as soon as you do, double tap the home button to make your phone go into multi-tasking. I don’t think the trick still works, or if it does, it’s probably not guaranteed to work every time. To know that there’s a new app that specifically screenshots these images is pretty unsettling and it’s definitely important to not underestimate the risks of sending digital images.

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