What Data Does Snapchat Collect?

Snapchat has an estimated 248 million users worldwide.1 While most everyone knows you send messages over Snapchat through taking pictures, many wonder how much data this giant app actually collects.

Roughly 7.5 billion messages are sent over Snapchat daily.1 Sound like a lot of data? We know. From the ability to share pictures and videos, to creating Snapchat stories (a feature Instagram and Facebook adopted), Snapchat is more than just a means of communication. It’s changed how people communicate with each other—it’s more immediate than ever with the illusion of being temporary.

But as with any popular app that sends your personal info to your friends and family, the question of privacy is extremely important. How much of your personal data does Snapchat actually save? We’ll share the important info you need to know about Snapchat to protect your privacy.

What information does Snapchat collect?

Snapchat collects a ton of your information. Much more than you probably realize. If you take a look at the Snapchat privacy policy, everything is spelled out for you. All the information you provide to Snapchat is collected, including your:

  • Name
  • Birthdate
  • Username
  • Email address
  • Phone number

Additionally, all the information you share in private snaps and messages is collected.2 Not everyone using Snapchat realizes this, so you might want to think twice before sending that embarrassing photograph you actually don’t want floating around cyberspace for years to come.

Snapchat can and will collect all kinds of information, including when you send snaps, what you send, who you send them to, and more. Snapchat even pays attention to your location, and it keeps information uploaded to your story. Not the most comforting thing to hear.

Basically, it’s good to remember that all your activity on Snapchat is being recorded, collected, and even potentially shared.

Why does Snapchat collect my information?

Tech companies like Snapchat like to point out that they won’t share your name or personal information with advertisers, but they might share everything else about you and build a profile of your product preferences and other data.

Snapchat says it collects user data in order to improve their services, create better marketing strategies, and personalize your experience.

All the data Snapchat collects about you, the app also can share with third parties. (It’s all talked about in the privacy policy.) This tech giant can share data with other “snapchatters, business partners, and the general public.”2

How do I delete my data from Snapchat?

The best way to delete data from Snapchat is to delete your account. Unfortunately, this is the best way to keep the app from collecting more and more data about you and sharing it with third parties.

However, if you really want to keep your Snapchat account, limit the amount of private data you share. For your own safety, you should always keep in mind that anything you share on the internet could resurface. Whenever you share a Snapchat with someone, they can screenshot the image (which you’ll be able to see if they do).

Also, anyone can use a third-party camera app to take a picture of your snap and you’ll never know. It’s just a good idea to remember that nothing you share online is as private as it seems.

Are there other ways to keep my information private on Snapchat?

Fortunately, there’s more you can do to keep your information private (not just on Snapchat). If you haven’t looked into using a VPN (virtual private network), you should give it some research.

A VPN will help keep your information private by encrypting your data and helping you stay anonymous online. This helps protect your privacy even when surfing the internet. If you’re interested in learning more about how VPNs can help protect your data and keep your information private, check out this resource.

Keep in mind that a VPN can run as an app on your phone, but it still protects all of your online activity.

Best VPN services price comparison
BrandPriceNumber of VPN serversMost powerful feature Details
NordVPN$11.95/mo.5,760Free malware protection softwareView Plans
Hotspot Shield$7.99/mo.3,200+Free password managerView Plans
ExpressVPN$12.95/mo.3,000+Best interface that’s clear and easy to use View Plans

Data effective 11/25/2020. Offers and availability subject to change.

Sources 

  1. Ethan Breckenridge, “Snapchat and Its Data Policies,” April 14, 2020. Accessed November 25, 2020.
  2. Snap Inc., “Privacy Policy,” September 14, 2020. Accessed November 25, 2020.