Schools issue Snap Map warnings


Snapchat, the social media app loved by teens, recently added a new location-sharing feature called Snap Map. 

Snap Map lets users share their exact location in real time with people on their "friends" list. 

Schools, however, are issuing warnings to parents over serious concerns about the new feature's child safety. One school has written to parents advising that Snap Map could be used "build up a picture of home addresses, travel routes, schools and workplaces" according to this report by the BBC

Other schools leaders have accused Snapchat, the US-based company which is said to worth around £15 million, of launching the new feature by stealth saying there was no detailed information about how it worked – or its potential safe-guarding risks.

As the picture below shows (via BBC Newsround), with just a pinch of your Snapchat camera screen, you'll see the new Snap Map and it will constantly track and shares your location. 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In response, Snapchat have issued a statement saying that location sharing on Snap Map is an opt-in feature (meaning it's not launched via the app by defalt) and, if activated by the user, can be switched off at any time. 

It's not only schools that have slammed Snap Map, however. Parents are also expressing their concerns including celebrity mum Nadia Swahala. 

The TV presenter posted a furious rant on her Facebook page calling Snap Map "horrifying" and accusing Snapchat of taking "a step too far" after watching her teenage daughter show her the new feature. 
 

Watch Nadia slam Snapchat's Snap Map user-tracking feature here
 

So, how can you switch off Snap Map if it's already installed on a device? Just go to settings and tap 'Ghost Mode' to opt out of location sharing. 

The launch of Snap Map has prompted the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) to update the Parents Guide on their Think You Know website. Click here to view

They advise: “It is important that young people understand exactly who can see their location on Snap Maps. Allowing all Snapchat friends (some of whom may be strangers) to see this information can present a risk to young people, as they will be able to see their exact location in real time. "

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