We joined Snapchat during the holidays. Ironically, after waiting so long to try it out, we did so one day before the New Years Eve security breach. Are we shocked that Snapchat provided people with a false sense of security? Not really.
The Internet has shown us repeatedly that cyberspace follows the same rules that civilization has for eons, it just does things far faster and far more broadly than before. Rule #1 of living a public life: when thoughts and images leave your person, you don’t have control over them anymore. These things bounce around in the ether (or sit on someone’s server) for a very long time.
It came as no surprise, then, that the app that people gravitated to because it seemed more secure than Facebook was actually less secure. The idea was still strong, though. The public needs a way to communicate digitally that won’t be a threat to future relationships or employment. Snapchat was the first and its meteoric growth this year reflected that need.
Snapchat for business
Which is why even with this security problem, there’s a need for Snapchat for business. Anyone who has been in business for any length of time knows that sensitive things probably shouldn’t be put on paper or in an email, unless the intention is to make it public. Smart business people pick up a phone when they need to communicate something that shouldn’t be a candidate to be forwarded to anyone.
In a world where things happen too fast for a telephone call, business people are presented with two choices currently, 1) skip the communication because of the risk, or, 2) communicate digitally, knowing there’s risk involved. There needs to be a third choice and a Snapchat for business would be exactly that.
Security needs to come first
But what we saw with Snapchat can’t happen in the business version of this service. Security needs to come first and foremost, as it should have with Snapchat. There need to be ways to keep the NSA and other governmental agencies out of the mix, which presents problems for insider trading investigations and other needs. It won’t be without its challenges, but in a world where a phone call is “old school” and meeting in-person is increasingly “super old school,” something has to give. The world is changing and this story is a remarkable reminder of that.