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The Resource Center Online Security Issues & Protection The Resource Center | article

Snapchat Switches Gears and Apparently Diamonds Aren’t the Only Thing That’s Forever

Snapchat, the social network best known for disappearing images, has updated their terms of services to allow it to store users' images forever. Snapchat, the social network best known for its quirky service of sending images that disappear within seconds has updated its terms of service in a move that has upset many users.

The company's new privacy policy, which you must agree to after the update released on October 28th, grants Snapchat "a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, sub-licensable, and transferable license" to "host, store, use, display, reproduce, modify, adapt, edit, publish, create derivative works from, publicly perform, broadcast, distribute, syndicate, promote, exhibit, and publicly display that content in any form and in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).”

In other words, they get to store all of the images you take or videos you create and store, distribute, or make profit off of them.

Unsurprisingly, this has many upset not only over the invasion of their privacy, but because this would allow the company to make money based on users' intellectual property. Although, if you read on through the fine print you will find that "some services" allow you to control who can see your images, it leaves no other way for you to control the flow of your self-created media—a huge departure from Snapchat's old privacy policy, "delete is our default."

Unfortunately we can't say that this is abnormal. This appears to be par for the course as many other social media networks and services have updated their terms of service to collect more and more information from users. This is why it is more important now than ever to carefully read through the terms of service before using social media networks. We know they're long and tedious, but you definitely want to be aware of what you're agreeing to before you use a service and find that your privacy has been majorly violated.

In any case, handing out some of your information is unavoidable these days so you're best line of defense against intrusions of your privacy and identity is to be vigilant—this means creating hard to guess passwords, changing your login information a few times a year, monitoring your bank statements, and looking through your credit reports. And remember, anything you post online or on social networks is public and permanent, so be cautious about what you say online.