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Snapchat apologizes for leaked user data, updates app to let you opt out of 'Find Friends'

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snapchat stories main (michael shane)
snapchat stories main (michael shane)

Snapchat today rolled out the security fix it promised last week, which lets users opt out of the app's "Find Friends" feature. The feature, which let users plug in their phone number to find friends using the app, was the root of the leaking of 4.6 million phone numbers and usernames on New Year's Day. In a blog post, the company apologized for the first time, and re-emphasized that the leak resulted from the abuse of its API, and not from its servers being hacked. To access the new feature that lets you opt out of Find Friends, head over to the app's Setting page and tap "Mobile #."

In the past week, many have called for an apology from Snapchat, and even for CEO Evan Spiegel's job. Today's apology won't entirely satisfy Snapchat critics, but is a wise move nonetheless for the young company as it faces perhaps its biggest PR disaster to date. Snapchat also said in its blog that when users first install the app and attempt to find friends using their phone number, it will verify their number — presumably by texting them a code to enter into the app. This measure should, theoretically, cut down on the number of requests hackers can make from its API, the crux of the company's original security issue.