July 12, 2019 6:47 pm

Kingston Police believe Snapchat’s map feature is a safety concern

Snapchat Map updates your location unless "Ghost Mode" has been turned on.


Snapchat has police warning users that it may have risks associated with the app’s map feature.

Snapchat, a multimedia app that is often used by teens and young adults to send photos, videos, and messages to each other, has a relatively new feature which allows users to see their Snapchat friends on a map in real-time.

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It’s simple to use: all you have to do is click on the magnifying glass at the top of the app to search for friends and after clicking on someone’s name you are then directed to the map, where your friends will appear as their own Bitmojis. If you decide to share your location, your current friends and even people who request you as a contact can track your every move.

READ MORE: Snapchat’s new map feature could be tracking you all the time

On Thursday, Kingston Police shared a statement on their website:

What is the concern?

“If location services have been turned on, ‘Snap Maps’ reveals your current location by showing your Bitmoji character on a map or a shadow-figure if a Bitmoji character has not been created. This opt-in feature allows friends to look at shared stories (created by a combination of Snaps, both images and videos) taken by multiple users at the same event or location, or see where other friends are located. Users can select who sees where they are – all friends, a select group, or none (ghost mode). You can zoom out far enough to see a whole world map, and close enough to see street names, parks, and other landmarks.”

“If there is an unscrupulous individual on your friends list within the app, that person could potentially blow up the map location and see where you’re actually located, be it a house, school or place of work,’ Const. Ash Gutheinz told Global News.

READ MORE: Snapchat’s gender-swapping filter has transgender people conflicted

Police are also recommending that within your friends list that you are only choosing close friends or family to add to your account if you choose to share your location on snapchat.  Additionally, turning on ‘ghost’ mode, which can be found in your settings, allows you to stay private on the map.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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