New Snapchat location tracking causes safety concern among paren - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

New Snapchat location tracking causes safety concern among parents

(Source: WTVM) (Source: WTVM)
(Source: Snapchat/Raycom Media) (Source: Snapchat/Raycom Media)
(Source: Snapchat/Raycom Media) (Source: Snapchat/Raycom Media)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A new update on the popular social media app, Snapchat, is now striking a concern with parents.

For many of its users, Snapchat was once strictly a social media app where you could scroll through decorative facial filters and post stories to share with friends. But now a major upgrade features a real-time location tracking setting.

It's called the “Snap-Map,” which allows Snapchat users you are connected with to access your location around the clock.

“I’ll see people on my Snapchat contact list that I don't really know how they got on there,” said teenager and Snapchat user, Jack Pease. “That could easily be a problem now in a lot of different ways because they can see my location on the map.”

“It's definitely scary because it gives the exact location,” said parent of three, Tiffany Studenwalt. “Which means anyone no matter who it is, can go to that location and snatch [my daughter] up.”

Snapchat has a Parent's Guide and Snap Map is addressed in the guide. Click here to read the Snapchat Parent's Guide.

As a Snapchat user, you can turn your location sharing services off, by selecting to turn on "Ghost Mode".

Our Chandler Morgan explains how to turn on "Ghost Mode"

“I turned mine [on ghost mode] because I don't want people seeing where I am all the time," said Pease.

Snapchat advises users to be at least 13-years-old to use their app.

“As an adult [myself] you are aware of those [dangers]," said Studenwalt. "I try to make [my daughter] aware of everything like that which is why I have access to all of her social media accounts."

Both Studenwalt and Pease have turned their own Snapchat accounts on ghost mode. Studenwalt also said all her children have and/or will have their Snapchat accounts on ghost mode as well.

A Snapchat spokesperson sent this statement regarding the newest Snap-Map update:

"The safety of our community is very important to us and we want to make sure that all Snapchatters, parents and educators have accurate information about how the Snap Map works. With Snap Map, location-sharing is off by default for all users and is completely optional. Snapchatters can choose exactly who they want to share their location with, if at all, and can change that setting at any time." 

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