Snapchat's 'Snap Map' raising red flags for parents, police

A new Snapchat feature shows your exact location on a map to everyone on your friend's list and police are warning people to use the feature with caution.

STATEWIDE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A recent update to the popular social media app, Snapchat, has people worried about their privacy and safety -- police are warning people to use the feature with caution.

The new feature, 'Snap Map', shares the user's exact location with their friends list -- allowing them see where you are, at any moment. "It's going to scare them, which it should" Bangor Police officer Jason Mcambley said. "It's terrifying, I can see people making mistakes.

Mcambley said he can see why people might think this is a cool feature -- but it's a privacy concern that has potential consequences. "One thing you can see with it is bullying, not just cyber bullying" Mcambley said. "If somebody has a problem with somebody else they can say, hey, I know right where they are, or they're isolated and now is my chance to get them".

'Snap Map' has also raised concern for parents. The app is used by teens and young adults around the world. Andy Sumner lives in Bangor, he hasn't let his 13 year old son use social media or Snapchat yet for reasons like this. 

"If I can keep tabs on where my kid is then that means that anyone can keep tabs, and that's pretty scary to think" Sumner said. "That anybody might be able to know the whereabouts of somebody else at all times".

If you're concerned about this feature you can simply go into your settings and choose ghost mode. You can still see everyone around you, but they can no longer see your location. If your child uses the app, police said its good to check who is on their friends list and their settings. They are also reminding everyone to be careful who you share that type of information with, it could do more harm than good

© 2017 WLBZ-TV


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