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Fact Check-Snapchat doesn’t know the time you were born – this is data input by the user to access the app’s astrology feature

Thousands of social media users have shared a misinformed claim that Snapchat knows the date and time of birth of its users. However, this appears to be a misunderstanding: the company told Reuters that this data has been keyed in by users themselves.

One post on Facebook has been shared nearly 10,000 times since Aug. 2 (here) and asks whether their friends and followers are aware that Snapchat “somehow knows what time you were born”. It includes a screenshot of the Snapchat platform which appears to list the person’s date, time and location of birth under a heading that reads: “My Astrological Birthday”.

Multiple other people have since posted similar remarks on Facebook and Twitter (here here , here , here and here), with one writing: “I’m totally freaked out by this how would they get that information and what else are they looking at on your phone” (here).

Snapchat’s astrological feature was launched in Nov. 2020 and claims to give users a profile that’s “far beyond what you see in a daily horoscope” (here). The company says it uses birth information to reveal personality traits and the astrological compatibility between friends.

In an email to Reuters, a spokesperson for Snap Inc said the astrological feature requires exact birth dates and times from each user – and is data that “can only be inputted by Snapchatters themselves”.

The spokesperson added: “We take the privacy of personally identifiable information very seriously at Snap, and this granular birth date and time information is only used for this astrological profile feature. Snapchat does not share anything beyond a user’s birthday with their friends or publicly, (age is not shared with friends, and sharing birthdays is a separate setting that a user may turn off).

“Snap also does not share any birth information with other parties on an individual level. The users who wrote these social posts may not remember inputting the information, but do have the option to delete it from Settings > Birthday.”

VERDICT

Missing context. Some Snapchat users have input birth data to access the app’s astrological feature. Snap says such data is only used for this feature and can be deleted.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here . 

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