Snapchat, employees spy on users

According to some former employees, Snapchat technicians would have a tool capable of accessing any account. Many, however, would use it to spy on users

That for social networks was not a golden moment, in terms of privacy, it was understood for some time. From Cambridge Analityca onwards, the privacy scandals at home in Facebook have followed each other at a rather fast pace, including passwords left unattended online and personal data accessible to more or less everyone. In recent days, even Instagram has been the victim of a massive data leak that has affected tens of millions of influencers.

In these hours, however, to be finished in the eye of the storm is Snapchat and with rather serious reasons. According to the revelations of two former employees of the social platform, everyone within Snapchat would have access to a tool used to inspect the profiles of members for security reasons. Unfortunately, however, more than a few would get carried away, abusing their position and exploiting SnapLion (that's the name of the tool) to spy on users' activity for no good reason and, in some cases, stealing their personal information.

What Snapchat's spy tools are used for

According to the aforementioned former Snapchat employees, and according to some emails and documents received anonymously by the US edition of Vice, SnapLion is not the only tool used by technicians and developers of the social platform to access members' profiles. The various work teams, in fact, have tools with different levels of access: the "Spam & Abuse" group, for example, has access to the data of users reported for bullying and harassment; the "Security" staff, instead, can check accounts suspected of having committed actions that do not comply with the terms and conditions of use.

Of the various tools, however, SnapLion is the most powerful and is called in internal circles "the key to Paradise" of the platform. Usually used to access profiles flagged by the police authorities of various countries, SnapLion has ended up being exploited by various teams for purposes that are anything but legitimate.

Log problems

According to the deep pockets that have made known the suspicious activity of Snapchat employees, it is somehow favored by the possibility to act in full anonymity. Despite the fact that SnapLion's security systems have been improved over time, the logging system (a sort of database in which all accesses are recorded, so as to be able to identify who has used the tool) has more than a few problems and does not record all "movements". This favors the work of those who want to abuse SnapLion's tools, allowing them to act without leaving too many traces (or without leaving any at all).