The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced Thursday it has settled with ephemeral social networking app Snapchat, claiming the company deceived users into thinking messages were permanently deleted and transmitted users’ locations and collected their address books without notice or consent. FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said, “If a company markets privacy and security as key selling points in pitching its service to customers, it is critical that it keep those promises.” The complaint also alleges Snapchat used poor data security with its “Find Friends” feature. As part of the settlement, Snapchat is required to implement a privacy program and be monitored by an independent privacy professional for the next 20 years. The case, according to the FTC, is part of the Global Privacy Enforcement Network sweep and the Asia-Pacific Privacy Priorities Forum’s Privacy Awareness Week. A column for The New York Times, however, questions whether these types of consent orders “have led to a wholesale shift in how tech companies handle private data.”
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