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Could the new Snapchat update breach your child's privacy?

Heather Parry

By Heather Parry

23 June 2017

Popular photo messaging app Snapchat has a new feature that has privacy advocates worried.

The new Snap Map feature allows users to upload photos to a map to be shared with their friends—and even with strangers.

To access the feature, use the two-finger pinch-to-zoom motion on Snapchat’s main screen. This will launch Snap Map, and you’ll be able to upload photos to the map from here.

Of course, when you upload photos, it also allows others to see your location. And this then poses a threat to your online security and privacy.

Are advocates right to be worried?

Snapchat claims that your location on Snap Map is only updated when you open the app, unlike Apple’s controversial Find My Friends app, which constantly tracks your location and shares it with your friends.

This means that if you don’t open Snapchat, the app won’t show your whereabouts. However, some people will want to use Snapchat regularly without giving up their location. So what about them?

How to ensure you’re not sharing your location.

The app seems to have considered the privacy implications of this new faeture already. When you first use Snap Map, you’ll be taken through your privacy options for the new feature.

As well as being able to share your photos and location with My Friends and Select Friends options, there’s a third choice called Ghost Mode. This allows you to keep your location private.

When Ghost Mode is enabled, not even friends can see your location.

While it’s a concern that Snapchat seems to be moving towards more regular tracking, its at least positive that they’re allowing opt-out features like the one above. So, for now, even when you’re using Snapchat, your privacy is still in your hands.

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