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Last week we showed you how easy it was to take screenshots of temporary, private images from the popular mobile apps Snapchat and Poke. Now new privacy concerns have been raised after it was discovered both apps store images insecurely on mobile devices and can easily be copied.

The apps are under scrutiny given their users are primarily teens and young adults and are marketed as ways to privately share images. Poke and Snapchat are supposed to only display an image or video file for a fixed length of time as determined by the sender. After the timer expires the apps delete the images off the device.

But news site Buzzfeed discovered this week that both Snapchat and Poke store images on the mobile device unecrypted until they are viewed by the application. This makes it easy to use file browsing apps like iExplorer to copy the images out of the mobile device and easily redistribute them. iExplorer works on any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch without the need to jailbreak the device.

Facebook told Buzzfeed that they will be pushing a fix for the issue soon. In the same article, Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel dismissed the concerns.

“The people who most enjoy using Snapchat are those who embrace the spirit and intent of the service. There will always be ways to reverse engineer technology products — but that spoils the fun!” Spiegel said to Buzzfeed’s Katie Notopoulos.

Read our previous coverage on Snapchat and Poke here.

Connect with Lon:

Lon Seidman is the host and producer of “Lon.TV,” a consumer technology video show that is on a number of platforms including YouTube and Amazon. He creates in-depth, consumer-friendly product reviews and commentary. His YouTube channel has over 300,000 subscribers and more than 100 million views.

In addition to being a full-time content creator, Lon is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Hartford (his alma mater) where he teaches a course in entrepreneurial content creation.

Prior to becoming a full-time creator, Lon was a partner at The Safety Zone, his family’s business that manufactures gloves and safety equipment. The company has locations around the globe and employs over 200 people worldwide. The Safety Zone was acquired by the Genuine Parts Corporation in 2016.

Lon is also active in public service, serving as the Chairman of the Essex Board of Education, a member of the Region 4 Board of Education, and as the Secretary / Treasurer of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education. He was endorsed by both Democrats and Republicans for his re-election in 2021.

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