SnapLion Tool is Used Illegally by Snapchat Employees to Spy Users

SnapLion, a tool is used by Snapchat’s employees belonging to different departments to view location, saved snaps, email IDs and contact numbers of users, revealed a report by Vice team.

At what level this tool has been abused is not mentioned in the report, but according to a former Snapchat employee, it has happened a few times.

In its defense, Snapchat said that the accusation of snooping users by any of their employees is completely misleading. Privacy is of prime importance for the company.

Company does not keep a lot of user data and have strict policies and control over who can have internal access to the data gathered. Law enforcement is kept in mind when dealing with data within tools, stated the company.

Illegal access to data is against the policies of the company and harms business conduct. If anyone is caught having unauthorized access, he/she is terminated immediately, quoted Snapchat.

Report by Motherboard included an interview of four former employees and a current employee of Snapchat who confirmed the presence of SnapLion tool.

Two former employees said that many years ago SnapLion was used illegally however they are not sure if it still happens or not. Motherboard got hold of an email which disclosed an employee using the tool illegally to fetch the email of a user. Snapchat did not respond to this upon being questioned.


Tools like SnapLion should have been used to deal with spams and abuse on the platform rather they are casually used by the employees of the company in an unethical way.

Snapchat is not alone in this race, last year a security engineer was fired from Facebook when he was caught stalking women using personal data. ‘God View’ is a tool used by Uber to identify rider’s location, and New York State Attorney General carried out investigations against it.


Photo: Thomas White / Reuters

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