Snap's Commitment to Collaboration with Law Enforcement

December 19, 2023

We believe Snapchat can help people build stronger and healthier relationships with the most important people in their lives. To support that goal, we work everyday to help our community have a safe experience on our platform – it’s not only the right thing to do, it’s essential to our mission. A key part of this work is collaborating with law enforcement, and we have a global Law Enforcement Operations team that works around the clock to support law enforcement investigations. 

Since Snapchat is built differently than traditional social media platforms, we know how important it is to communicate directly with law enforcement about how our platform works and how we can serve as a resource for them. 

That’s why earlier this month, our Law Enforcement Operations team brought together more than 3,300 members of federal, state, and local law enforcement for our 3rd annual Law Enforcement Summit to demonstrate how Snapchat works and share information about our safety features and policies.

A primary goal for the summit was to reinforce to law enforcement how they can work with Snap to support their investigations. While content on Snapchat deletes by default – designed to reflect the nature of real-life conversations between friends – we can preserve available account information and content upon receipt of a valid request from law enforcement. Data is also retained in other circumstances – for example:

  • When we enforce against content violating our Community Guidelines, we generally retain associated data for an extended period in case law enforcement needs to follow up in the course of their investigation.

  • For any account reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), we’ve elected to preserve associated account data for 180 days – more than required – giving law enforcement more time to receive reports from NCMEC and request information for their investigations. 

Supporting law enforcement in a timely manner is a priority for our Law Enforcement Operations team,  which responds to most legal processes within two to four weeks. In the event we receive an emergency disclosure request, involving an imminent danger of death or serious injury, our team usually responds within 30 minutes. In addition to supporting all valid requests from law enforcement, our team works to proactively escalate any content involving imminent threats to life. 

We appreciate the challenges faced by law enforcement in the digital age and strive to support their work to protect our communities while maintaining our commitment to the privacy of our users. We are grateful to those who attended this event and remain committed to working with law enforcement stakeholders across the globe.

– Rachel Hochauser, Snap Head of Law Enforcement Outreach and Safety Ops Strategic Advisor

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