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Snap’s new developer program tries to avoid Facebook’s privacy pitfalls

Snap’s new developer program tries to avoid Facebook’s privacy pitfalls
[Photo: Tim Savage/Pexels]

Today, Snap introduced a suite of new tools for developers. Called Snap Kit, this API program allows developers to feed into Snap’s offerings; they can implement Snap’s login for their own apps as well as integrate their own stickers and filters into the Snapchat camera. The idea piggybacks off of Facebook’s well-known API program, which helped the company become one of the most dominant social networks.

Snap, however, is avoiding one of the biggest Facebook API issues we’ve learned about over the last year: privacy. When Facebook’s API first launched, developers were essentially given the keys to the users who signed up for their programs–this included friends’ personal data, social graph, and other information users put onto the Facebook platform. Through this security flaw, Cambridge Analytica was able to build up its massive database.

Snap Kit, however, doesn’t give out this information. Snap explains that the only data it gives to developers are display name and bitmoji. Similarly, it does not share any friend data with the apps. What’s more, after 90 days of inactivity, Snap apps are automatically disconnected. In essence, this is one way to avoid the huge privacy errors that have led to so many Facebook debacles over the last few years.

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