Snapchat Has Backed Off Its Worrisome New Privacy Policy

But who cares as long as we can use that rainbow vomit filter?

Ryan Nagelmann/Flickr

Last week, Snapchat updated its Terms of Services and Privacy Policy for the first time in nearly a year.

Today, the company has clarified those new terms because it’s quite possible that the new legalese slipped past your radar, as it came along with a fancy new filter update that included the ability to fast-forward, rewind, and slow-mo your videos. Who’s reading fine print when you can make snaps like this?

I'd sign away my DNA rights to Snapchat to use the Rewind filter.

Matthew Strauss

The current terms say the app may share your information with third party providers, sellers, and partners, and are automatically granted “unrestricted, worldwide, and perpetual right and license to use your name, likeness, and voice, in any and all media and distribution channels (now known or later developed) in connection with any Live Story or other crowd-sourced content you create, upload, post, send, or appear in.” That kind of corporate access scared many users, which prompted Snapchat’s clarification.

Per a post on app’s official Tumblr, “the Snaps and Chats you send your friends remain as private today as they were before the update.” The post continues, the seemingly invasive new terms are in place specifically because of the app’s Live Stories feature. Snapchat needs to be able to review snaps that are broadcast globally to ensure they’re safe for all users to view. In addition, Replays introduced in-app purchase, so updates had to be made to reflect the ability to spend actual money on Snapchat.

Snapchat has also said the new terms are meant “to make it a little easier for friends to find you on Snapchat,” so it has “clarified what info — like your name — will be visible to other Snapchatters and how you can modify that info.” Plus they wanted the terms to “read the way people actually talk.” And because the company is friendly: “We always try to be upfront and clear with our community.”

With such heartwarming language, it’s hard to avoid suspicion. Why would Snapchat have to be so smiley about all of this, if there really were nothing to worry about? Well, the company is probably just trying to maintain its #brand, so the cause for concern is probably situated somewhere between panic and ignore. Always be careful about what you snap, but the new updates shouldn’t change your experience too greatly.

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