After the phone numbers of 4.6 million users were compromised by hackers on New Year's Day, it's been revealed that Snapchat reportedly signed on with Washington lobbying firm Heather Podesta + Partners. This will mark the first time the Los Angeles startup has enlisted a lobbying firm.
In addition to working on communications and consumer protection issues, the firm will also educate lawmakers about Snapchat. The lobbyists who will work on the account include Heather Podesta, Eric Rosen, and Benjamin Klein. Podesta and Rosen both worked as counsels on the hill for the late Rep. Bob Matsui and the Senate Judiciary Committee, respectively, and Klein served as legislative director for former Sen. Byron Dorgan.
In May, Snapchat was also the target of an FTC complaint when the Electronic Privacy Information Group raised concerns that photos sent via Snapchat can be stored on users' phones by altering the images' file extension. Furthermore, the company revealed in October that law enforcement can make requests for the ephemeral messaging service to preserve "snaps" and summon unopened messages with search warrants.
Though Snapchat is tightening security after its New Year's hack, which the attackers said served to raise awareness around the service's vulnerabilities, the company has yet to say the magic word everyone is waiting for: sorry.
[Image: Flickr user Dave Newman (newmanchu)]