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Oops: iOS 7 lets users secretly take Snapchat screenshots
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Say "cheese"?
Say "cheese"? Facebook/Snapchat

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.

 
Chris Gayomali is the science and technology editor for TheWeek.com. Sometimes he writes about other stuff. His work has also appeared in TIME, Men's JournalEsquire, and The Atlantic.

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