Snapchat: What is the Snap Map?
Snapchat have added a new feature to the app which has raised a number of concerns over user privacy and safety. The feature is called the Snap Map and allows you to share your location with your friends on Snapchat.
"With the Snap Map, you can view Snaps of sporting events, celebrations, breaking news, and more from all across the world. If you and a friend follow one another, you can share your locations with each other so you can see where they’re at and what’s going on around them! Plus, meeting up can be a cinch."Snapchat, 2017
To access the Snap Map just go to the camera screen where you would normally take your Snaps and pinch the screen to zoom out. The map will show the location of events nearby, as well as the location of your Snapchat friends.
Are there any privacy settings/controls?
Before you start using the Snap Map, the app will ask you if you want to share your location and will present you with 3 options. Ghost Mode will hide your location from your friends; My Friends will share your location with anyone you have added as a Snapchat friend; Select Friends will allow you to share your location with a limited number of friends selected by you.
You cannot use Snap Map without choosing one of these options first and the app will not broadcast your location without you agreeing to it first—It is an Opt-in service.
Too Much Information
The GPS location displayed on the Snap Map is incredibly accurate and the map is quite detailed, including school names, hospitals, points of interest and all road names. It is possible to share your location and for someone to know almost exactly where your house is, or at the very least your road name or local school.
Many Snapchat users, young and old, have added people they don’t know as Snapchat friends and may not be aware that the oversharing of information has the potential to put them at risk of threats, blackmail and exploitation.
We should encourage all users of the app to ensure that Ghost Mode is activated by visiting the settings page (click the gear symbol in the top right corner to access this)
Learn more at Snapchat Support: https://support.snapchat.com/en-US/a/location-snap-map
If you have concerns about the immediate safety of a child, you can call Lincolnshire Police on 101 or, in an emergency, dial 999