Snapchat data scandal

by Michelle Ali

This blog first appeared within the VE-SO Portal in March, as one of the regular updates for school E-Safety Officers. It now appears here for general information.

The impact of the Snapchat update

It’s fair to say that the recent major update of Snapchat (27/01/15) caused a huge uproar among Snapchat users. Most people’s biggest problem is that they can no longer see their contacts “best friends” i.e. their most frequently contacted. People don’t like this because it was always good gossip to see who had been messaging who.

However, another serious issue surfaced recently with users reporting that the app is burning through too much background data.

In the screenshot at the bottom of the article, you can see Snapchat having used over 40MB in the foreground (while the app was open) and a little more than 250MB in the background. In a span of a week, the app burned through a quarter of a gigabyte.

Snapchat introduced a discover page linked to news feeds from various sources such as CNN, National Geographic, and People. Users complained about the app quickly draining battery life, causing crashes, and sucking up background data.

Fortunately, users can prevent Snapchat from running in the background. Go to Data Usage under your phone’s settings menu and look for Snapchat. If it’s giving problems, it is likely to be at the top of the list of apps. Tap it and select the Restrict Background data option.

Snapchat can’t be held responsible for the things people do using its service, but the company should jump on this issue quickly if it doesn’t want customers taking up pitchforks over the potential charges on their cell phone bills. With any luck, it’s already on it.

Posted 3 years ago on · Permalink