Snapchat’s new Snap Map feature receives criticism from the US Police

The US police have warned parents about their kid’s safety after popular social media app Snapchat introduced a new feature that maps users’ movements and give details on their whereabouts, in an evident threat to their privacy and security, the media reported. Snapchat’s new feature Snap Map helps users to locate their friends on a map, reported on Thursday.

The tracker in the app allows the users to view the exact location — the area, town and street — where the friends were, the media report said. If zoomed well, it could also show the house on the street layout. Police departments all over the US used their own social media accounts to spread the awareness about the new update. They have also urged their followers to share the posts.

“Although Snapchat has said the only users you can see on the map are your friends, we wanted to remind everyone that personal safety is important and you should consider what information you are sharing on this app,” said a post from the Minneapolis Police Department on Facebook.

Anybody could be found and “friended” on Snapchat, though users must accept invitations and requests. The users’ posts and locations could only be shared by those who have accepted the friend’s requests. To access the Snap Map, users would have to go into camera-mode, then use two fingers to “zoom out”. However, the new update features a “Ghost Mode” option, which when turned on allows the user’s location to remain hidden.

Users in Ghost Mode could still access the map and see their friends who were “active,” without being seen themselves, the report said. “Snapchat has a lot of young users on it. If your children use Snapchat, please check to ensure that they have their location set to Ghost Mode that way no one can see where they are,” the Facebook post added.