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Those Online Photos That ‘Disappear’ May Actually Persist, Privacy Experts Warn

(Photo from snapchat.com)

(Photo from snapchat.com)

roy_melony 300 Melony Roy
Melony Roy is the Social Media editor for KYW Newsradio 1060,...
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By Melony Roy

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With over 50 million snapshots shared every day, a photo-sharing app called “Snapchat” is quickly growing in popularity.

But, experts are warning, those “temporary” images are not as temporary as you may think.

Snapchat says it allows you to send any kind of photo to your friends, for a time frame of your choosing.  The implication is that they can view the photo but not save it.

Or can they?

“A hacker and University of Michigan student recently discovered there are ways to get around this,” notes Mashable tech reporter (and Bucks County native) Samantha Murphy.   “For example, if you hold down the home button and tap it twice.”  That captures whatever is currently displayed on an iPhone.  “Another one is logging in and out of the app and turning on airplane mode, which basically shuts down the security that these apps have put into place.”

Its core fanbase is teens and tweens, which Murphy says is especially troubling.

“They have to really be careful, because if you take a screenshot, these can last a long time — if not forever.”

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