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When the Snapchat hack initially occurred, the CEO and management didn’t apologize for the breach that caused 4.6 million users to have their phone numbers and Snapchat ID’s go public. Yesterday however, they released a statement that included an apology. It wasn’t exactly dripping with sympathy and regret, but it was an apology nonetheless.
From the Snapchat blog:
This morning we released a Snapchat update for Android and iOS that improves Find Friends functionality and allows Snapchatters to opt-out of linking their phone number with their username. This option is available in Settings > Mobile #.
This update also requires new Snapchatters to verify their phone number before using the Find Friends service.
Our team continues to make improvements to the Snapchat service to prevent future attempts to abuse our API. We are sorry for any problems this issue may have caused you and we really appreciate your patience and support.
Many headlines have referred to the apology in a way that makes it sound as though Spiegel got down on his knees and begged for forgiveness, but a closer look shows the apology was tucked in among the information about the improved security in the software update.
They also apologized for inconvenience that was caused, they didn’t apologize for their lack of security. You “apologize for the inconvenience” when the elevator is out of order for two hours for maintenance, not when millions have their phone numbers made public.
I initially said that Snapchat didn’t need to offer the public an apology, and I still feel that they didn’t. Even in today’s world of technology, users need to understand that privacy and security is never guaranteed even with the most advanced systems. (After all, it’s not like Facebook hasn’t had something like this happen.) Snapchat’s statement was handled extremely well as demonstrated their efforts to correct the problem, but keeps with their priority of moving forward.