Snapchat, the ephemeral-photo-messaging app that deletes images after you send them to friends, just became a little less secure. A bug spotted in iOS 7 beta allows users to secretly take screenshots without setting off any alarms. That means any and all naughty pictures are up for grabs if someone you're Snapchatting with is testing the latest version of iOS, at least according to MacRumors.
Snapchat allows photo-takers to set a self-destruct timer for each of their photos. To view the shot, the recipient has to keep a finger pressed down on his or her phone's screen. In previous versions of iOS, if someone pressed the home and power buttons to take a screenshot, that connection between the screen and the finger was interrupted, and the viewing window closed. Snapchat would then notify the sender that an "illegal" photo was saved.
That's not the case with iOS 7, which released its second beta yesterday. MacRumors reports that "screenshots no longer interrupt on-screen touches," so the "photo stays open and the app is unable to recognize the screenshot action." That means iOS 7 users will be notified if an iOS 6 user secretly banks a photo, but not vice versa.
That's problematic, as the temporal nature of a Snapchat is key to its users' trust; user trust is what has recently made Snapchat the beneficiary of a questionable $60 million in venture funding. That said, it's unlikely the screenshot bug will go unaddressed for very long, and an extremely small sliver of iPhone owners are currently using iOS 7 — just 0.22 percent, according to recent estimates.
In the meantime, though, it might be wise to keep your flirty photo messages rated PG-13.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Russia's new air force is a mystery
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- When it comes to ISIS, our Congress is full of cowards
- How I became a borderline hoarder
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
- How Hillary Clinton's 'smart power' turned Libya into a dumpster fire
Subscribe to the Week