The U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced on Wednesday that it has approved a final order settling charges that Snapchat deceived consumers with promises about the disappearing nature of messages sent through its service. This follows a public comment period.
The FTC’s complaint was announced in May. It also alleged that Snapchat deceived consumers over the amount of personal data it collected and the security measures it took to protect data. The commission said in its announcement on Wednesday:
The settlement with Snapchat is part of the FTC’s ongoing effort to ensure that companies market their apps truthfully and keep their privacy promises to consumers. It prohibits Snapchat from misrepresenting the extent to which it maintains the privacy, security, or confidentiality of users’ information. In addition, the company will be required to implement a comprehensive privacy program that will be monitored by an independent privacy professional for the next 20 years.
“If a company markets privacy and security as key selling points in pitching its service to consumers, it is critical that it keep those promises,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “Any company that makes misrepresentations to consumers about its privacy and security practices risks FTC action.”
The terms of the settlement don't appear to include any financial hit to the company. Snapchat will be required to comply with obligations including a privacy program for the next twenty years. This is basically in line with measures taken against Google and Facebook in the past.
Image via Snapchat, Facebook