Jun 12

Our Agreement with the Maryland Attorney General

Today we entered into an agreement with the Office of the Attorney General of Maryland that—like our recent agreement with the Federal Trade Commission—strengthens Snapchat’s already strong commitment to our users’ privacy. Both agreements have much in common. Each resolved investigations that largely turned on how well users understood that recipients of their Snaps could save those Snaps. And each agreement concluded with Snapchat admitting no violation of any federal, state, or local law.

But there is something else that both agreements have in common: They never allege, find, or suggest that Snapchat itself retains our users’ Snaps. That’s important. From day one, we have promised our users that we delete their Snaps from our servers once they’ve been viewed by all recipients. That’s a promise we’ve always honored, and it’s one that neither the FTC nor the Maryland AG has ever questioned.

Instead, both agencies thought our users might not have fully appreciated the extent to which their Snaps could be saved by recipients, whether by taking a screenshot or using some other mechanism. Whatever the merit of that concern, it’s one that is old news by now. As we explained when we entered into our agreement, we long since revised our privacy policy and other public statements to make perfectly clear that—while Snapchat deletes all viewed Snaps from its servers—recipients can always save them.

Our agreement also addresses the Maryland AG’s concern that users under 13 not get to use the app. Notably, the Maryland AG recognizes in this agreement that Snapchat’s terms of service have always provided that the app “is intended for use by people who are 13 years of age or older.” And Snapchat has instituted a number of controls to ensure that that limit is respected. Today’s agreement simply formalizes those controls.

As we said when we announced our agreement with the FTC, Snapchat is—and always has been—devoted to promoting user privacy and giving Snapchatters control over how and with whom they communicate.

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