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Not sure why you're surprised. Startups often don't have much in the way of insider controls for data in their database at launch. Debugging production issues when you don't have root can be pretty inconvenient. Employees are trusted and insider threats tend not to be part of the threat model until they have more employees and more to lose.

But Snapchat has been around a while and clearly does have some internal controls over this. Not good enough, apparently.

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