Snapchat responded to recent reports that its new privacy policy gives it ownership over all user content sent via its app by stating that content “remains as private today as it was before the update.”

“Our privacy policy continues to say — as it did before — that messages are automatically deleted from our servers once we detect that they have been viewed or have expired,” it said in a statement, adding that it does not share messages with advertisers or  business partners.

“Snapchat is not—and never has been—stockpiling your private snaps or chats.”

It said its terms of service does grant it a broad licence to use content which it needs for features like ‘live stories’ – a collection of videos about one topic – to be able to show those stories around the world, replay them or syndicate them.

However, it added that its privacy policy and users’ own privacy settings within the app can “restrict the scope of that licence so that your personal communications continue to remain personal”.

The app last came under fire over privacy in May 2014 when the US Federal Trade Commission said images sent via the service could be saved by recipients through the use of third-party apps.

A few months before that, contact information belonging to 4.6 million Snapchat users was published by hackers, despite the app maker’s claim to have fixed a vulnerability made public by an Australian security research group.