Snapchat employees spied on users with internal tool, report says.

Multiple employees abused privileged access to user information, reports Motherboard.


One tool, called SnapLion, reportedly provides Snapchat employees the “keys to the kingdom.”


Your snaps seem ephemeral, which makes it simple to forget that Snapchat employees can view your informationunder certain circumstances — and potentially abuse that access.


Snapchat employees used internal tools to spy on users, according to a report Thursday from Motherboard. The information abuse reportedly happened “a few times” and was carried out by “multiple” individuals. 2 former employees told Motherboard concerning abuse that allegedly happened several years ago.


Snapchat reportedly has several internal tools that allow employees access user information for legitimate reasons, such as fulfilling police requests and enforcing its policies. One tool known as SnapLion, which was originally meant to assist comply with law enforcement requests, was employed by multiple teams at Snapchat and provided “the keys to the kingdom,” in line with Motherboard.


Motherboard noted in its report that it was unable to verify exactly how the information abuse occurred.


Snap, the parent company behind the social media app, said that protecting user privacy is “paramount.”
“Any perception that employees might be spying on our community is highly worrying, and totally inaccurate,” a Snap spokesperson said in an emailed statement Friday. “We keep very little user information, and we have robust policies and controls to limit internal access to the information we do have, as well as information within tools designed to support law enforcement. Unauthorized access of any kind is a clear violation of the company’s standards of business conduct and, if detected, leads to immediate termination.”