Popular cellphone app Snapchat has introduced a new feature this week called Snap Map that allows users to share their location with friends. Worry about security surfaced immediately.
Here’s how it works. To see to the Snap Map, a user pinches the screen to zoom out while using the Snap Chat camera function. Then a cartoon-like map displays that shows where users are in Bitmoji form – among friends who opt to share their location. Users can share their location with all friends, select friends or not be tracked at all by selecting “Ghost Mode.”
Users can share their location with all friends, select friends or not be tracked at all by selecting “Ghost Mode.”
In an article by The Verge, Snapchat notes a user’s location is only updated when the app is opened. So there shouldn’t be any background tracking to be concerned about. The Bitmoji disappears from the map if a user doesn’t open the app for several hours.
But users expressed concern about security. Potential problems could occur if users share their location with friends and then having a falling out. An ex-boyfriend or girlfriend may want to know exactly where a former bae is when they share “our story.” Or, what happens when a random person has the capability of tracking one’s location.
“These Snaps are sorted using advanced machine learning techniques that aim to surface interesting Snaps that are also safe and fun for our community,” a spokesperson told The Verge by email.
Snapchat usage overall is started to decline with a 22 percent drop in app downloads in the past two months, according to a Fortune article.