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Snapchat is violating your human rights, says Amnesty

According to the charity, the app puts users at risk by failing to adopt ‘basic privacy protections’

Snapchat is putting its user’s human rights at risk by failing to adopt “basic privacy protections”, according to Amnesty International

The app was shamed by the organisation in a report published last week. The research – titled “For Your Eyes Only?” – looked into 11 of the world’s biggest technology companies, and examined the way they use people’s information, and how effective their encryption policies are. Despite being used by around 100 million people every day, Snapchat came shockingly low in the rankings, scoring just 26/100 on message privacy. 

“If you think instant messaging services are private, you are in for a big surprise,” said Sherif Elsayed-Ali, Head of Amnesty International’s Technology and Human Rights Team. “The reality is that our communications are under constant threat from cyber criminals and spying by state authorities. Young people, the most prolific sharers of personal details and photos over apps like Snapchat, are especially at risk.” 

Blackberry, Skype and Tencent also ranked badly, with Amnesty calling out their lack of interest in protecting “user’s privacy and freedom of expression”. This is because none of them use end-to-end encryption (a way of keeping digital information safe) on their messaging systems.

Unfortunately, no company included on the list managed to score a full 100/100 – though Facebook came the closest with a 73/100 score. According to the report, the social networking site is the most effective at protecting its user’s privacy, and is also the most transparent about the action it’s taking. The site was closely followed by Apple and Telegram (who both scored 67/100).

“It is up to tech firms to respond to well-known threats to their users’ privacy and freedom of expression, yet many companies are falling at the first hurdle by failing to provide an adequate level of encryption,” added Sherif Elsayed-Ali. “Millions of people are using messaging apps that deny them even the most basic privacy protection.”