Snapchat’s new terms let it store and reuse your photos, but they aren’t scary

Snapchat’s new terms let it store and reuse your photos, but they aren’t scary

Snapchat updated its terms of service for its app this week with a number of significant changes, but you probably just clicked ‘accept’ to keep using it, right?

The new terms of service have a number of interesting new sections, but one part could be worrisome in the future:

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 (now known or later developed).

We will use this license for the limited purpose of operating, developing, providing, promoting, and improving the Services; researching and developing new ones; and making content submitted through the Services available to our business partners for syndication, broadcast, distribution, or publication outside the Services. Some Services offer you tools to control who can—and cannot—see your content under this license. For more information about how to tailor who can watch your content, please take a look at our privacy policy and support site.

In short, the new license allows Snapchat broader use of your photos and videos for marketing campaigns, research purposes as well as providing them to “business partners” for further use.

I’m not surprised Snapchat is being more explicit about its own uses, but they appear to specifically apply to using Snapchat stories being aggregated beyond the service in the future.

Previously, this section referred to the ‘crowd-sourced stories’ in the app, but this wording has been removed to make the terms more broadly apply to all user content.

Another thing to be aware of is the addition of a term that allows Snapchat to use your name, likeness and voice that has been added to a Live Story for marketing campaigns without compensation:

To the extent it’s necessary, you also grant Snapchat and our business partners the unrestricted, worldwide, 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. This means, among other things, that you will not be entitled to any compensation from Snapchat or our business partners if your name, likeness, or voice is conveyed through the Services.

Snapchat previously wrote in 2013 that it automatically deletes Snaps from its servers when opened, but that’s changed over the years as the company introduced features like the ability to replay images, public stories and more.

It maintains in the updated privacy policy that this still happens, with exceptions as noted above, but the new terms don’t change anything specifically about Snaps sent to an individual.

The thing is, the terms are not all that uncommon for any sort of app that handles user-generated content.

Instagram, for example, has similar terms, as does Facebook — they’re more to protect the company in case it happened to use your images in the future and you found out.

All this in mind, Snapchat’s content can often be a little more… sensitive, than what you might share on services like Instagram, so it is legitimate reason to give you pause, but in general, it’s best to use your own judgement before you send something.

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