People leaving Snapchat among privacy concerns caused by their AI chatbot

Ever since the start of the modern digital age, concerns regarding the possible intrusion of privacy have been on the rise. After the internet became easily accessible for the entire world, people have shared their personal data knowingly and unknowingly in a space where it will always remain. With most newer innovations based on data-driven technologies, a lot of people have been worried about the potential misuse of their personal data.

The most worrying aspect of data-driven technologies is that sometimes users might not realize if they are giving out information about themselves. YouTube, Netflix and Google search in general take special note of your preferences and recommend you products or contents keeping them in mind. Many social media platforms and other companies collect data about our browsing habits, interests, and choices in an attempt to target us with more accurate ads and improve their services.

Snapchat, a popular social media platform among the young generation has often been cited for its privacy concerns. After the addition of a recent feature to make their application better suited for its users, the app has faced an adverse reaction from the users who believe that the feature could be a privacy breach.

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Snapchat and privacy:

This is not the first time that the app has been accused of breaching its users privacy. There have been a few instances in the past where the social media app faced problems due to similar allegations. In 2014, the Federal Trade Commission had alleged that Snapchat was deceiving its users about the disappearing nature of their snaps and the privacy claims of the app. They claimed that the app misguided the users by suggesting that snaps would be deleted forever after a certain period of time even though they could be saved using third party apps and other methods.

In response to these allegations, the social media company has introduced various features to protect user privacy. These new additions include end-to-end encryption, two-factor authentication, and the ability to choose who can see your snaps and stories. However, like other social media platforms, Snapchat cannot be said to keep your data safe.

Why privacy on Snapchat matter?

Those of you who are not familiar with the idea of snapchat might not truly understand the importance of privacy on Snapchat. The nature of the data shared on Snapchat has its roots in the most unique point of the platform. Apart from the one time view on snaps, the social media app is known for keeping your data from leaking among your circle (not necessarily among browsers). If a user takes a screenshot of your chat or saves a snap, you will be notified of the same. This makes it more difficult for a person to share screenshots of personal chats and pictures. Snapchat was build upon the premise of this privacy and therefore the nature of data shared using Snapchat can often be more private than one can imagine.

Recent Situation:

Recently the social media app had introduced a My AI feature that gains data from a user’s interaction with the app and builds conversations upon it. After the feature was made available to all users on the platform for free, several people have cited the associated privacy concerns related to the use of this AI feature. According to several reports, the web searches on ‘delete snapchat’ and ‘how to delete snapchat’ have increased by a number of times in the last few days. An interesting point to note here is that this report too is a proof of how closely you’re being watched. So regardless of whether you were a subject of this study, you need to be careful about your digital footprint.

The AI chatbot also faced backlash after it had allegedly said inappropriate things to younger children even after being told that it was talking to a child. Therefore, it could be said that the new feature has given more trouble to the app than actual benefits.