Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel today released a powerful statement about privacy, a day after the latest batch of emails released in the massive Sony Pictures hack exposed a number of Snapchat’s company secrets.
On Tuesday afternoon, the hacker group that calls itself the “Guardians of Peace” released the contents of the email inbox of Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton as part of its ongoing protest of an upcoming Sony Pictures movie called The Interview. Since Lynton serves on Snapchat’s board of directors, his inbox included a good deal of candid conversations with Evan Spiegel and others about Snapchat’s corporate strategy, including financial details, hiring plans, M&A deals, possible partnerships, and upcoming products. For better or worse, many publications in the tech blogosphere (including this one) had a field day with the exposed information.
In a Tweet today, Spiegel shared the letter he wrote to Snapchat staff regarding the exposé:
Though some are finding it difficult to feel very sorry for a person whose job includes turning down $3 billion acquisition offers, I think that Spiegel’s response is honest and well-said. A violation is a violation, no matter how prominent and successful the target, and it’s important to remember that the impact here is not only on the likes of Lynton and Spiegel.
As my boss Alexia Tsotsis wrote yesterday, the executive rank gossip and business plan leaks are arguably the least damaging things about the Sony Pictures hack. Overall, it’s a difficult situation that a lot of people will be working to clean up for a long time.
Spiegel ended his statement with a vow that going forward, his company is “going to change the world because this is not the one we want to live in.” Let’s hope that the silver lining in all of this will indeed be a different kind of world — at least, one with better security technologies.