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Snapchat ‘promise’ not to share your sexy selfies (although they could if they wanted)

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David Cornish
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On 28 October, the social video masters of Snapchat updated their Privacy Policy and Terms of Service details. 

Most of us didn't bat an eyelid and continued sending hilarious videos of cats getting freaked out by laser pens. Then some media groups started reading the fine print, and freaked out.

A clause in the new Terms of Service section contained this rather troubling permissions line...

...you grant Snapchat a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, sublicensable, 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

But don't go fretting that those questionable images you sent your steady "friend with benefits" are about to be circulated by Snapchat. Far from it.

Upon seeing panic sweep the web, Snapchat duely responded, pointing out that the Privacy Policy still explains that all messages are "automatically deleted from [Snapchat] servers once we detect that they have been viewed or have expired". If the person you sent the image to grabs a screenshot and holds you to ransom, that's your problem.

The troublesome "broad licence agreement" line quoted above is included, explains Snapchat, because it has to be if you're going to join in with features like Snapchat's Live Stories - where the service pools images and videos that users send them and moulds them together into rolling feeds of national events. 

"We tried to be clear that the Privacy Policy and your own privacy settings within the app could restrict the scope of that license so that your personal communications continue to remain truly personal," explains Snapchat's response.

The recent rewording tried (and failed) to reassure users that their snaps are as private as they've ever been. They aren't about to sell your identity or your images to third parties, but they might share an image you willingly sent to their 'Live Stories' feature with a wider audience.

Now, let's go back to being worried about legitimate internet concerns - like bank account details being pinched from service providers.

(Image: Shutterstock)

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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