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Snapchat staff abused data access, spies on users: report

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(Reuters)

Snapchat employees are using internal tools that give them privileged access to the data of spying on the user, people the pages, a report.

Two employees who are no longer with the app’s parent company, Snap, spoke on the Motherboard about the alleged abuse of power that included violations of location information and other sensitive data.

In some cases, the workers allegedly access old photos and videos that users had saved, according to Motherboard sources.

Two other former employees and one current employee described how Snapchat the data access tools, they could pull the curtain on the pages. She said one of the instruments called SnapLion and was originally used for the collection of information at the request of the enforcement of the law or a court summons.

According to Motherboard sources, there are at least two departments understand that the use SnapLion. They are the “Spam and Abuse” team, which deals with bullying and sexual harassment, and the “Customer Ops crew”, which deals with the problems of users.

Until now no one had ever revealed of the tool exist. Internal e-mails reportedly confirmed to use.

A former Snapchat employee told Motherboard that SnapLion finally gave the employees the keys to the kingdom.” The app currently has more than 185 million users. It is unclear whether the company has turned to one of the accounts affected.

Requests for comment were not immediately returned Thursday.

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