Protecting privacy is a very important part of accomplishing our mission: empowering people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world and have fun together. For us, that’s about the freedom to be you – regardless of who you are, who you’ve been or who you’re going to be.
Which is why we've introduced the idea of ephemeral media with Snapchat – to set the assumption, just as in real life, that you’re not always on the record. This enables privacy and freedom of expression. When you meet someone new, you shouldn’t have to worry about them sifting through and analysing a personal record of the past 5 years of your life.
Privacy and your right to choose what information you share is at the heart of everything we do. And that’s why it came naturally for Snap to embrace the principles of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): data minimisation, short retention periods, anonymisation and security.
For example, before we even begin building a new Snapchat feature, a dedicated team of privacy lawyers and engineers works closely with our designers to outline the following:
- How long we retain data
- How Snapchatters can view, access and exercise rights to their data
- How to minimise the data collected
- How to ensure the data collected isn’t used for anything other than what it’s intended for
When we do collect information, we try to be thoughtful about the kind of data we use. For example, we don’t collect information about your ethnicity, sexuality or political allegiance, and we don’t share personally identifiable information about you with advertisers or third parties.
Some of the information we will collect includes things like where you open Snapchat and what you watch in Discover. This helps us provide you with location-specific experiences and assign you “Lifestyle Categories” or “Content Interest Tags”. These interest categories help us and our advertisers provide content that’s personalised to you.
Most importantly, we want you to have control over the information you provide to us. You have full control over interest categories you’ve been placed in – all of which you can choose to opt out of. If you don’t want us to use your location data, you can turn off your location permissions. Lastly, you’re free to opt out of all ads targeting based on first and third-party audience data and activity outside of our services. You can find all of these permissions in Snapchat settings.
When it comes to fully understanding how your data is being used, we know that one blog post is never going to cover it. So we recently updated our Privacy Centre to give you a comprehensive explanation, in language that we hope is simple and easy to understand. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact us here.