The section of Snapchat’s new terms of service that has received the most scrutiny starts by saying users retain “whatever ownership rights” they previously had over content they share via the app. After that, it gets a little interesting:
“But you grant Snapchat a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, sublicensable, and transferable license to host, store, use, display, reproduce, modify, adapt, edit, publish, create derivative works from, publicly perform, broadcast, distribute, syndicate, promote, exhibit, and publicly display that content in any form and in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed). We will use this license for the limited purpose of operating, developing, providing, promoting, and improving the Services; researching and developing new ones; and making content submitted through the Services available to our business partners for syndication, broadcast, distribution, or publication outside the Services.”
That wall of text asserts Snapchat’s right to use photos and videos users upload and share via the app as they see fit, which in this case includes marketing, research and making it available to business partners.
The subsequent paragraph goes a step further by telling users that Snapchat and its business partners reserve the right to use “your name, likeness, and voice in any and all media and distribution channels (now known or later developed) in connection with any Live Story or other crowdsourced content you create, upload, post, send, or appear in.” Users whose name, likeness, or voice is used in a marketing campaign will not receive any compensation, according to the updated terms of service.
While this may sound flagrantly invasive, the likely reality is that this simply covers the company in its monetization and curation of the Live Stories and Discover content features.
The company also cites requests from law enforcement as a reason for keeping content on its servers. “Finally, of course, as with any digital information, there may be ways to access messages while still in temporary storage on recipients’ devices or, forensically, even after they are deleted,” according to Snapchat.