CONCORD — Chief Joseph O’Connor and the Concord Police Department wish to inform parents of a new feature on the Snapchat social networking tool that allows users, including children, to share their exact location with others on the mobile phone app.
The Snap Map feature is automatically included in the latest update of Snapchat, and it allows users to view the locations of their “friends” while they are active on the app. The feature also includes the ability for users to share their photos and videos publicly, even if their profiles are otherwise private.
“The ability to track users to their exact locations is a serious concern for us,” Chief O’Connor said. “Snapchat is especially popular with younger people, so it’s important for parents to be aware that it has this capability and we highly recommend that they deactivate the map function on their children’s phones.”
The Snap Map’s tracking capability can be disabled by activating “Ghost Mode.”
Here is how to enable “Ghost Mode” and disable pinpoint GPS tracking:
- Pinch the screen on the main camera portion of the app
- Once the map is activated, click on the icon in the upper righthand corner of the screen
- Press the slider next to the “Ghost Mode” label at the top of the menu
If left active, the Snap Map will pinpoint and display a user’s location whenever they are actively using the app, and will also display a person’s most recent known location.