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Snapchat employees threatened with jail time for leaks

Recently, the company faced several leaks, including its unannounced "Stories Everywhere" feature.

  • Published: January 22, 2018 8:56 AM IST
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The chief lawyer of Snap Inc, the parent company of popular photo-sharing platform Snapchat, has warned the employees of the company saying they could be sued or jailed if they leak the company’s confidential information, reads a memo.

Michael O’Sullivan, Chief Lawyer and General Counsel of Snap Inc, wrote the memo to employees last week after the Daily Beast online detailed how confidential user metrics of Snapchat features are being used, tech website Cheddar reported late on Saturday.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy for those who leak Snap Inc confidential information. This applies to outright leaks and any informal ‘off the record’ conversations with reporters, as well as any confidential information you let slip to people who are not authorised to know that information,” O’Sullivan said in the memo. “If you leak Snap Inc information, you will lose your job and we will pursue any and all legal remedies against you,” O’Sullivan added.

“And that’s just the start. You can face personal financial liability even if you yourself did not benefit from the leaked information. The government, our investors, and other third parties can also seek their own remedies against you for what you disclosed. The government can even put you in jail,” the memo read.

Snap spokespersons declined to comment on the memo. The report said that Snap is already known for being highly secretive about its dealings. Employees are often not told what they will be working on before they are hired and they do not know about the public announcement to be made.

Recently, the company faced several leaks, including its unannounced “Stories Everywhere” — a feature that will let users share stories outside the Snapchat app — which the company said could significantly harm business, including its ability to compete.

Details about its planned redesign for the Snapchat app were also leaked to the press prematurely. “Because we are a public company, the information also affects how millions of shares of our stock trade every day.” The memo directed the employees to tell any news source asking for comment on Snap to respond with “no comment.”

“If you are contacted by a news source, you should immediately tell your manager or notify Communications at press@snap.com. If you’ve accidentally disclosed Snap Inc confidential information, tell your manager immediately,” the memo said.

  • Published Date: January 22, 2018 8:56 AM IST