Don’t Assume Privacy When Posting Images Online

Snapchat screenshots

Snapchat screenshots

By Ashley Virnoche

Popular photo-sharing social-media sites like Snapchat are gaining millions of users. It’s fun to partake but be careful when posting images as privacy is not guaranteed.

Snapchat, a photo-sharing social media app, creates mobile conversations. A person can snap a photo or video, add a caption and send it to a friend. They’ll view it and then the Snap disappears from the screen in less than 10 seconds unless the receiver takes a screenshot, which saves the image to the phone.

When asked if she enjoyed posting photos on social media Synet Hines, CSN student, said, “Yes, it actually helps boost self-esteem and self-acceptance.”

Although photo sharing on Snapchat and other sites like Instagram is popular, many users are not aware of the use and privacy policies at these companies, which limit the users’ rights.

When engaging in Snapchat’s services, one essentially agrees to allow it to collect information about messages including time, date, sender and recipient. The app also allows access to the person’s contact list and photos.

Miranda Fox, CSN student, takes into consideration the safety of her photos when posting them to social media. “I do wonder. I fear posting any photos too personal or revealing because I’m afraid of who will see them.”

Fox also said that she knows the photos are stored in a database but doesn’t know what the database is or who has access to it.

Snapchat has a privacy policy that some overlook.

“I did not fully read the privacy policy,” said Roney Sastre, CSN student. “I just skimmed the script as I assumed it to be like any other social media. To my understanding, every photo that we send is collected in the company’s file.”

In its privacy policy Snapchat admits that it temporarily collects, processes and stores content in its servers. Snapchat does not assume responsibility for content, how it is sent or viewed. Snapchat also keeps rights to use the content how it sees fit for commercial purposes.

“You retain all ownership rights in your User Content; however, by submitting User Content to Snapchat, you hereby grant us a nonexclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicensable and transferable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such User Content,” according to Snapchat’s terms of use dated December 2013. What that means is users give the company permission to use their personal images and content in any way the company wants.

Now that it is clear the company is overseeing content, it is advisable for students to be cautious when posting certain types of images.

“Young adults, thus far, do not understand the severity of posting and sending revealing photos,” Sastre said. “Many young teens will have to accept the consequences of their actions if they ever end up seeing one of their revealing photos on a public website where all are able to view it, even friends and family.”

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