Snapchat is a social media app that promises its users complete and total privacy when it comes to their conversations. The trick is after the message is read by the recipient, it disappears. However, this privacy goes out the window when the police get involved.
Recently, it has been revealed that Snapchat does allow police access to your Snapchat activity. However, the catch is, they must have a warrant to do so. Therefore, unless you are involved in some illegal activity, the chances are that they are not going to bother tracking your Snapchat.
But of course, if you can’t seem to stay on the straight and narrow, then yes, they will be able to access your activity. Let’s take a look at some of the areas that police might need to look at your Snapchat activity.
Can Police Access Sent SnapChats?
If they have a reason and have the proper paperwork in place, then yes, police are able to access your sent (and received) Snapchat messages, snaps, memories, etc. They don’t make it a habit to spy on the average person, though.
In order to access sent Snapchats, police must first have a reason to do so. Then, they must go through the paperwork to get the warrant and serve the subpoena to Snapchat.
This is a lot of extra time and effort that they are not likely to spend unless you are a suspected or known criminal.
Even if they do spend the time and effort to get their hands on your sent Snapchats, they’re not going to be able to see the content if all recipients have viewed it. Snaps are deleted once everyone has seen them.
Therefore, police will only see who it was sent from, who it was sent to, the date/time it was sent, and where the sender was when it was sent. The actual content is gone.
Can Police See Old SnapChats?
As we stated, Snapchat promises truly private conversations. This is possible because once the snap has been viewed by everyone it was sent to, it is deleted and no longer available.
However, if at least one person has not opened the snap, it can remain on the servers for up to 30 days. Snaps that are posted to a user’s story can be viewed for 24 hours. After that, it is deleted and no longer available.
Chat content typically disappears after it’s been seen by the recipient unless it has been saved. Memories remain on the server until the user deletes them.
If the police need to see your Snapchat activity, as long as they have a warrant, they can do so. However, they won’t be able to see the content of the snap if it has already been deleted from the server.
Can Police Pull Up Deleted Snaps?
Once snaps have been deleted from the server, they are no longer viewable by anyone, law enforcement or otherwise.
If someone saved them, the police could get a warrant and go to that person to see them. However, Snapchat is unable to provide them with that information.
Can Police Recover Deleted Snapchat Accounts?
According to the Terms & Conditions, when you sign up for a Snapchat account, even after you delete your account, they are required to hold your information for a certain period of time.
Therefore, if the police have a warrant to get access to your Snapchat information and it falls within that set time frame that they are required to hold your information, then yes, police are able to recover deleted Snapchat accounts.
Can A Deactivated Snapchat Account Be Traced?
Just as we outlined above, when you sign up for Snapchat, the Terms & Conditions for using the app state that they are required to keep your information for a set amount of time.
This means that, if necessary (and within that prescribed period of time), your deactivated Snapchat account can be traced to the last known location. Of course, if you are no longer in that location, they won’t find you – but they will at least have a place to start.
Can Police Recover Snapchat Messages?
If they have a reason to look at your messages and they have a warrant, Snapchat will give access to messages to the police. However, Snapchat does delete messages from its servers as soon as they are viewed.
This is why “My Eyes Only” was created. As we’ve mentioned, messaged delete themselves from Snapchat’s server after recipients have viewed them.
Therefore, if just one person hasn’t opened the message, it can be obtained by law enforcement obtaining a search warrant and sending a request to Snapchat.
How Far Back Can SnapChats Be Recovered By Police?
When police gain access to Snapchats that have been deleted from the server, they don’t see the content of the snap.
They can go back as far as when the user first joined the platform.
Can Police Track IP Address From Snapchat?
If the police have the warrants in place to be able to access your Snapchat information, then yes, they will be able to track the IP address that you are accessing the app from.
While the average person has to go through several steps to find an IP address, it’s actually pretty easy for law enforcement to do it.
Once again, though, unless you are suspected of being involved in illegal activity, they’re not going to bother trying to track your IP address.
As you can see, the short answer to “can police track your Snapchat?” is yes.
However, it’s a lot of paperwork and effort, and most of the time, unless there’s something criminal going on that you are suspected of being involved with, they are not going to go through the hassle.
As long as you don’t do anything wrong, you should have absolutely nothing to worry about.
I’ve been working with technology in one way or the other all my life. After graduating from university, I worked as a sales consultant for Verizon for a few years. Now I am a technical support engineer by day and write articles on my own blog here in my spare time to help others if they have any issues with their devices.