Sharing Screenshots from Snapchat Could be Considered a Crime

The Independant
When it comes to a service like Snapchat you do expect the pictures you send to be private unless you post them to your story. But in the past this hasn't stopped people from taking screenshots of snaps they've received and then sharing them in real life or online. According to UK culture minister Ed Vaizey this is actually breaking copyright law and people could be prosecuted.

People like Snapchat because of the privacy it affords and even though that doesn't necessarily make it a smart service to send intimate photos or images containing sensitive information, users do still have a right to privacy. People could argue that Snapchat is a social media service and that you should expect anything you post to be public or for people to not be able to complain if photos make their way online but they do. What these people don't seem to understand is that there is a difference between sharing something with a single person or a small group and posting it for everyone to see.

There has been a lot of arguments over this as many people think once they have the photo, it's technically saved on your system. But the data is inaccessible then and still private on your phone. Snapchat is supposed to tell users if someone has taken screenshots of their photo but for some reason this doesn't always work, which can lead to the wrong person getting their hands on the picture anyway.

This doesn't mean however that the moment you screenshot a photo, you'll be arrested. Users will have to file a complaint with the police and then they can look into it if necessary. The chances are that unless the snapshot being shared does affect your life in a serious way, it probably won't get looked into. However this should be a wake up call for anyone who does perhaps screenshot without thinking. If you just want to save a sweet message or a funny drawing forever then fine, screenshot it, but most of the time it probably is best to check if the other person minds you saving it first. Especially if it's something you plan to post online. You need to give them a chance to say no if they don't want others seeing that. Users should be careful what they snap according to Snapchat, if it's not something they want other people seeing then they shouldn't send it. That is maybe a little unfair as its punishing the victims rather than the perpetrators but it makes some sense.

If you do get prosecuted for snapshot then it will be taken as a copyright infringement offence. This could be punished by 10 years in prison or a £50,000 fine. Also, if you share intimate pictures that people don't want shared then there are a whole slew of other charges you could be done for too. So stop and think before you save and share. If an image was supposed to be private then leave it private otherwise you could be risking jail time.

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