Science and Tech


Snapchat's CEO Gives Non-Apology, Vows To Make Changes

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel stopped short of an apology while explaining the recent data breach and vowing to make the app more secure.
Posted at 5:35 PM, Jan 03, 2014

Snapchat and its CEO Evan Spiegel broke their silence — but stopped short of a full-on mea culpa — just days after a massive leak compromised the information of 4.6 million Snapchat users. 

The company acknowledged on its blog a hacker, or group of hackers, took advantage of the Find Friends feature within the app by uploading "a large number of random phone numbers and [matching] them with Snapchat usernames." (Via Snapchat)

Find Friends is an optional service that uses the phone numbers of Snapchatters so users can easily link up with their buddies. 

The company added that only partially redacted phone numbers and usernames were compromised — no sketchy photos or videos. 

But instead of an outright apology, PC Magazine suggests Spiegel placed blame on Gibson Security, the company that twice warned of the flaws in Snapchat's Find Friends feature. 

​Spiegel recently told NBC's "Today" show: "At the time, we thought we'd done enough. ... In a business that's moving so quickly, if you spend your time looking backwards, you're just going to kill yourself." 

That answer wasn't quite satisfactory for at least one Bloomberg contributor. 

"It felt insincere to say, sort of, 'In a business like this, we can't look back.' You should be learning from your mistakes, kid." 

In response to the hack, Snapchat says it will update the app to allow users to back out of Find Friends. As a footnote, the company also added that it'll make sure security experts can get ahold of company reps in the event that another chink in the armor is discovered.