Snapchat Publishes First Transparency Report

2015-04-06T10:58:00
ID SNAPCHAT-PUBLISHES-FIRST-TRANSPARENCY-REPORT/112023
Type threatpost
Reporter Dennis Fisher
Modified 2015-04-06T14:58:22

Description

Snapchat has released its first transparency report, covering a four-month period from November through February, and the data shows that the company didn’t receive any National Security Letters and got fewer than 400 total requests for data from the United States government.

Snapchat, a California company that runs a popular chat and media-sharing service, said in the report that it plans to begin publishing transparency reports every six months. But the company wanted to put out a preliminary report now in order to get things moving.

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“While the vast majority of Snapchatters use Snapchat for fun, it’s important that law enforcement is able to investigate illegal activity. We want to be clear that we comply with valid legal requests,” the company said on its blog.

“Privacy and security are core values here at Snapchat and we strongly oppose any initiative that would deliberately weaken the security of our systems. We’re committed to keeping your data secure and we will update this report bi-annually.”

The transparency report from Snapchat shows that the company received 375 total requests from U.S. government agencies from Nov. 1 through Feb. 28, covering 666 accounts. Of those 375 requests, 159 were subpoenas and 172 were search warrants. Snapchat turned over some data in 92 percent of those 375 requests.

The company reported that it received zero National Security Letters during the four months covered by the data and didn’t report any Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act orders, as that data is subject to a six-month reporting delay.

Snapchat has had its share of privacy and security issues during the service’s short lifespan. In May 2014 the company settled charges by the Federal Trade Commission that Snapchat misrepresented the security and privacy of the service, and that the company didn’t take adequate security precautions with the service. In January 2014 Snapchat was the victim of a massive data breach that involved the compromise of usernames, passwords and other data belonging to 4.6 million users.