FTC finalizes order against Snapchat

The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday finalized its settlement with Snapchat over the company's allegedly deceptive promises about photos and videos sent through its application being permanently deleted. 

The settlement, which was first announced in May, forbids the company from misrepresenting how a message is deleted and the limits of its ability to detect when a person takes a screenshot of the message. 

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The company will also be forced to create a privacy plan that will be monitored by an independent observer for the next 20 years. There were no monetary fines associated with the settlement. 

The final order was approved unanimously Wednesday after it went through a round of public comments earlier this year. 

In May, the FTC accused the company of misrepresenting the extent to which messages sent through the free app would "disappear forever" after being viewed, the product's most-touted feature. 

Messages through the app can be saved easily by downloading a third-party app, the FTC found. And because of the way videos were stored, users could accesses seemingly deleted content by connecting to a computer. 

The company also advertised that a user would be alerted when a screenshot of their message was taken. But the FTC alleged that recipients with an Apple device could easily find a way around detection. 

The company was also accused of misrepresenting how it collected location information and the security of a feature that allowed users to find friends on the app.

The company landed in hot water in October over a separate incident in which hundreds of thousands of photos and videos were leaked online. The leak happened after a third-party app set up to save messages sent by Snapchat was hacked.