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India's Still Peeved At Snapchat. Apparently.

17 Apr, 2017
India is Still Peeved At Snapchat

Anonymous Indian hackers have claimed to have posted personal details of over 1.7 million Snapchat users on the Deep Web. This purportedly is a repercussion to an allegedly derogatory comment made by the CEO of Snapchat, calling India a “poor country” and unfit for the expansion of the free app.

To the uninitiated, Snapchat is a super-popular photo-sharing messenger that has about 300 million monthly users. Of these, about 4 million monthly users are Indian.
Over 2.5 billion Snaps are reportedly shared on the app every day.

Now, a hack is a serious enough transgression for any brand, but to have customers’ personal data harvested and then flung out to the wind, is a cut that runs much deeper.

Thus it’s no surprise that Snapchat has denied outright that any such hack or breach in user data has taken place.

Further, no known or specific Indian hacker group has come forward claiming responsibility of the purported leak, which, if the news were true, should have happened by now.

On another level, Snapchat continues to deny that any such adverse comments were uttered by Evan Spiegel, their CEO.
They claim that such caustic remarks were made in a lawsuit filed by Anthony Pompliano, a former employee of Snapchat (who had joined Snapchat having jumped ship from Facebook). Interestingly, Snapchat also claims Pompliano was fired within two weeks of joining Snapchat, and the suit he has filed also alleges many other claims (that are currently sub judice).

That, however, has not made much of a difference to the offended Indians. Many of whom have gone out of their way to instigate and veto campaigns like #UninstallSnapchat and #BoycottSnapchat on social media.

Such is their ire that these campaigns have successfully dragged the app’s rating down from five stars to one, on Apple’s App Store.

Notably, though:

  • The single star rating for Snapchat’s current version on the App Store is based on 6,099 ratings.
  • The rating for all versions of Snapchat on the App Store has been dragged down to 1.5 stars, based on 9,527 ratings.
  • On Android’s Google Play Store, Snapchat’s rating remains at 4 stars, based on 11,932,996 ratings.

Coming out in defense of the company, their spokesperson said in a statement: “This is ridiculous. Obviously, Snapchat is for everyone. It’s available worldwide to download for free. Those words were written by a disgruntled former employee. We are grateful for our Snapchat community in India and around the world“.

If the threat of the user accounts having been breached is true though, it won’t be the first time that Snapchat has had its user data compromised. Back in 2013, hackers gained access to 4.6 million Snapchat accounts, posting an edited version of this data on a publicly accessible website, finally forcing the company to make an apology to its users for some earlier indiscretions.

As far as the  threat of the current purportedly leak is concerned, we (Chip-Monks) are still on the fence about it being credible. If you do want to be extra careful, we recommend you go ahead and change the password for your account, just to be extra safe.