The risk to your digital reputation is high. The opportunity to cyber bully is elevated. The attack on cyber safety is raised. A photo arrives on your phone, you have 7 seconds to view it and it disappears into thin air. You can’t take a screen shot, you can’t save it, you can’t use it as evidence. With the new, month old, Snapchat App, photos can be sent and timed to automatically delete from the receiver’s account at a time designated by the sender. The cynical amongst us might wonder if programmers have identified a niche market and are exploiting it. The demographic could at best be labelled the impetuous teen and at worst the mean teen. This app, available on mobile devicces allows the account holder to select a photo, designate a period of time that it can be viewed and send it. The receiver has only the designated time to view it and then the photo disappears. It is hard to think of positive uses for this app and sadly equally easy to imagine the worst. On a positive note it is intended that by using Snapchat a photo cannot be shared.
However 110 million photos have been sent and while it seems that it is impossible to take a screen shot, another camera device can take a pic of the screen and more ominously Snapchat has recently updated its disclaimer policy to state that while it attempts to ensure that photos are immediately erased from its servers:
‘it cannot guarantee that the message data will be deleted in every case…..Messages, therefore, are sent at the risk of the user.’