Evan Spiegel, the co-founder and CEO of Snap Inc., took a swipe at Facebook on Tuesday during Recode’s 2018 Code Conference in California. Spiegel made the dig when he was asked how he feels about Facebook copying some of the features that were developed for Snapchat, Business Insider reported.
The Snap Inc. CEO said “the most fantastic thing in the world” is when a design is so “simple and elegant” that the only thing other companies can do is to copy it. “We would appreciate it if [Facebook] would copy our data protection, as well,” Spiegel added, a clear jab at the company’s Cambridge Analytica data scandal, which involved the collection of personal information of 87 million Facebook users. “Maybe that’s what Sheryl is announcing after,” Spiegel joked ahead of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s appearance.
Whistleblower Christopher Wylie revealed earlier this year that the analytics firm had worked with both the Trump campaign and the Brexit campaign to harvest Facebook profiles in order to build software that could influence how people chose to vote.
Snap doesn’t save user data the same way as Facebook and deletes photos, videos, and chats from its servers after they’re sent, according to Business Insider. “We cared about data retention,” Spiegel said, explaining, “It’s important to point out that there wasn’t any Russian manipulation of Snapchat. That there are alternatives and that the way you treat user privacy is really important.”
Audience members at the conference reacted to Spiegel’s comments by cheering and laughing. Some Facebook employees, however, didn’t take them well. “Snapchat’s implicit promise that photos really disappear combined with poor API security has lead to serious mass leaks of revenge porn,” Facebook’s chief security officer, Alex Stamos wrote in a tweet. “So no, I don’t think copying Snapchat would be a smart move.”