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SnapChats New Location Feature Causes Concern For Parents

Article by: maft
Date: 23 Jun 2017

Snapchat, a social media / messaging app, has added a new location feature that is causing some concern with it's accuracy levels. The new 'Snap Map' feature aims to show you where your friends are on Snapchat which, in itself, isn't a bad idea. Contrary to most scaremongering news posts, the feature is disabled by default and when you first launch the map (by 'pinching' your fingers on the photo screen) and activate it then you are put into Ghost Mode where no one can see you location. You then have the option of allowing all your friends or selecting specific friends who can see the location.

The issue myself, and others, have is the level of accuracy of your location that gets shared - we're talking down to a matter of meters - to the point that if you zoom in on the map you can see the building you were at. The good news is that it is not a live location tracker. Your location is shared when you first open the Snap Map - if the map stays open and you move then this is not updated. Also, when you come out of the map your location is not updated in the background.

A secondary issue is that the map also says how long ago the user was there - this may not be an issue if you actually know all your Snapchat friends but many younger users add people randomly. A 'friend' would be able to view the map and see that you were last located a minute ago so you must be nearby and therefore easy to find in real life.

Parents: it's time to do some parenting! Talk to your Snapchat-empowered kids about the feature and make sure they stay safe - even if that means disabling the app from having location access.

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Posted by M8TJT on Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:12 pm Reply with quote

Parents doing parenting? That's a novel idea maft. And about as much chance as fly to the sun with some, it seems from some kids behaviour.

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