Snapchat feature worries policePosted: Updated:
A new feature to the Snapchat app has law enforcement officials on edge.
The popular app, which allows users to capture and send pictures and videos to one another, now features "Snap Map," which lets users track the location of their friends on a map.
"Snap Map" can show where you are anywhere around the world, down to what street you're driving down. Users are portrayed as a cartoon character, and every time the app is open, the user’s new location is updated.
Law enforcement officials say this feature poses a threat since users may not know every one of their followers. Predators could be posing as a friend and get instant access to their location. "People that have criminal concerns that are actually out there are trying to control other children and get their location. You can establish people's travel patterns such as where they go to school," says Clarkstown Police Officer Pete Walker.
Snapchat downplays the risk because it says sharing a location is optional. Users can change their settings or select what friends can see their location. They can also choose “ghost mode,” which shuts the feature off completely.