Snapchat Apologizes for Data Breach

More than a week after 4.6 million users' phone numbers were compromised

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Sometimes it’s hard to say “sorry.” But Snapchat finally did just that on Thursday, more than a week after 4.6 million users’ phone records were compromised by hackers. The apology came tied to a blog post announcing that users of the photo-sharing service would no longer have to link their personal cell phone numbers to their Snapchat usernames—a feature that makes it easier for friends to find one another on the service.

Snapchat’s full blog post:

This morning we released a Snapchat update for Android and iOS that improves Find Friends functionality and allows Snapchatters to opt-out of linking their phone number with their username. This option is available in Settings -> Mobile #.

This update also requires new Snapchatters to verify their phone number before using the Find Friends service.

Our team continues to make improvements to the Snapchat service to prevent future attempts to abuse our API. We are sorry for any problems this issue may have caused you and we really appreciate your patience and support.

Snapchat was harshly criticized for its handling of the privacy breach, with some even calling for users to boycott the app. Snapchat’s 23-year-old Founder and CEO, Evan Spiegel, refused to apologize for the breach last week, instead saying his company was the victim of “abuse.”

Prior to the breach, Australian firm Gibson Security had been warning Snapchat for months that it was vulnerable to such an incident.