Nasdaq: Snap Patent Keeps Data Out of Third-Party Hands 

October 26, 2023

Protections like these are important when considering Snap’s primary audience is young users, and often, users that are under 18. And when considering how to treat the data of a younger audience – especially those who may not be as considerate of their digital footprint – data minimization is the best approach, said Suzanne Bernstein, law fellow at the Electronic Privacy Information Center. 

“I think you’re right to assume (Snap) is aware that so many of their users are minors,” she said. “And I think it’s a good thing to limit, in this way or in other ways, access to personal data connected to those third parties.’ 

Though Snap is researching these kinds of protections, the company hasn’t always had a spotless history with data security. In 2019, a former Snap employee revealed that workers spied on users by exploiting a tool primarily used by law enforcement called SnapLion, which could extract data from user accounts that relates to police investigations.  

And working with third parties presents its own risks, said Bernstein. The more data that third parties have access to, the further it gets from its original source, and “the less and less control and knowledge users have. This is just exacerbated more when the consumer is a child or teenager.” 

Bernstein added, “This kind of information can be used to build profiles of kids and teens as consumers, then fed into the targeted advertising system to shape behavior and choices with children.” 

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