Anybody with a Snapchat should probably be checking the internet for any scandalous photos, as users pictures from the app were recently leaked on to the internet.
Hackers recently released a 13 gigabyte database of Snapchat photos that users thought had been deleted, as is the app’s policy. Snapchat users as well as the creators of the app itself have called the leak a major violation of user privacy while the media has taken to calling the event “the Snappening.”
In a statement, Snapchat said that users had been “victimized by their use of third-party apps to send and receive Snaps.”
“I’m not worried about it,” Morgan Kelley, a senior in respiratory care and avid Snapchat user said. “All the world’s going to see is pictures of me making weird faces.”
Over the past few weeks the internet has seen hints in “underground photo-trading chat rooms” that something Snapchat related was about to happen. With the release of the photos an unnamed source speaking to Business Insider has alleged that the leaked snaps contained an overwhelming amount of child pornography as half of Snapchat’s users are between the ages of 13 and 17, leading to discussions about whether the violation of user privacy was warranted.
“It doesn’t make it right,” Kelley said. “There are other means of catching people involved with that instead of compromising the privacy of thousands of people. Snapchat has a privacy statement for a reason.”
Snapchat maintains that the leak came from the database of a third party and not through the breach of Snapchat’s own servers. However, the company has had leaks of user information in the past, as recent as last year when 4.6 million users contact information was stolen from the app and leaked to the public.
This, in addition to the theft and of celebrity nude photos- dubbed by the internet as “the Fappening”- has brought to light the struggle for privacy in the age of social media.
Thus far, no reasoning for the leaks has been giving, nor has any party taken responsibility.