Snapchat’s latest feature is being described as ‘creepy’ and rightly so as it is a serious safety concern for users.
In Snapchat’s latest update, they added the new ‘meet up’ feature to Snapmaps. This feature allows those who have access to your location to see not only the exact address of your last known location, but directions to it too.
So, if you are sitting in the house with your location on others will be able to obtain both your house number and postcode. To make it even creepier, the app would allow users to see how long it would take to both walk and drive to your house.
Why is this a privacy concern?
The sickening part of this feature is that users aren’t notified when someone access directions to their location. Again, anybody with access your location on the app can check where you were last seen and when and get directions directly to you.
When installing the new update users aren’t notified to this new Snapmap feature, meaning many users will be unaware of it. Users of the app have taken to Twitter to express their concerns. Tweets urge those who haven’t already turned their location off to now do so as it is a serious concern for their safety.
What can you do to protect yourself?
Snapchat has stated in the past that Snapmaps was created with privacy and security in mind. For those who have never given others access to their location don’t need to worry as location is off by default.
For those on the other hand who have granted access to others, only those you have given access or have as mutual friends will be able to see it. Be selective with who you are allowing to see your location as if this information gets into the wrong hands it could be used with malicious intent.
What were Snapchat thinking?
While there may be many benefits to this feature such as allowing friends to meet up with you quickly or for family to track your last known location if you haven’t come home, there just isn’t enough to justify it.
Users are only finding out about this feature days after the update was released, giving those with bad intentions to take advantage of this feature. Many users of Twitter are raising concern with the possibility of this feature leading to stalking, sex trafficking and more.
Young children are on this app and more likely to be susceptible to these possibilities and additions to the app such as this only exposes them to potential dangers.
Snapchat need to have a serious rethink on this new feature and whether the pros outweigh the cons. While the feature may be useful to some, there are far more users who are more concerned about the safety of them and others.
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