Snapchat has endured more than its fair share of security issues over the years, but this latest one is arguably the worst to date.
Thousands of leaked Snapchat pictures are set to appear in a fully searchable database, and considering the last thing the users expected was for the pictures to be made public, you can imagine the kind of content we’re talking about.
For those unfamiliar with the Snapchat premise, users essentially send each other pictures that are timed to automatically delete once viewed. That's all well and good in theory.
The problem starts when people start using third-party Snapchat clients, and in this case, it appears that something called SnapSaved – a website for cheekily storing pictures and video – amassed over 100,000 pictures of its users (or its users' contacts, to be more accurate) over several years.
Whether intentionally or otherwise (the SnapSaved site no longer exists), that collection has now been leaked, and is set to form a publicly available gallery.
There is something vaguely amusing about a massive collection of embarrassing selfies being shared like this, but around half of Snapchat’s users are between 13 and 17 years old, and as such a lot of the content is effectively child porn.
For what it’s worth, the big bosses at Snapchat reiterate that this is a third-party problem, and not something that affects the plain old Snapchat service.
“We vigilantly monitor the App Store and Google Play for illegal third-party apps and have succeeded in getting many of these removed.”
A word of warning, however. There’s no way to tell if your pics are being illicitly saved at the other end. Snapchat sends a notification if the other person takes a screenshot, yes, but these third-party clients are undetectable.
So think twice before you send that special pic. Would you really want the rest of the world to see it?