Police urge caution over Snapchat's new "Snap Map"
Snapchat has a new feature called "Snap Map" that shows the location of you and all your friends, right down to the street.
Police are worried it could be a dangerous feature.
Through GPS, within seconds, Snap Map shows you where your Snapchat friends are.
“I can see my friend in Buffalo, so I can see exactly where he is right down to the street,” Jason Robert, director of development and marketing at the Center for Youth, said as he tested out the map. “Let's see where my sister is. Let's see if she's home.”
The new tracker even shows what part of a building users are in. It has features to show you if they're sleeping, or on the move in a car.
While it can be a fun feature, people can add you without your permission. That's got police worried about safety, especially with lots of kids on Snapchat.
“If this application’s activated, people are gonna know where you are every minute of the day, right down to an address on the street,” Officer Lance Duffy with Gates Police warned. “You could be at a park having a great day for a walk, and a predator happens to say ‘hey, I know you're in this area of the park’ and follow you there.”
You can turn off Snap Map by activating the “ghost mode” setting, but police say kids might not know that's an option. They're urging parents to be sure their kids have “ghost mode” on.
“You stop and think about how little control you have once it's out there, can't pull it back in,” Elaine Spaull, executive director for the Center for Youth, said.
“This could be life or death and it's something you need to worry about to make sure you protect yourself," Officer Duffy added.