Sudbury Lincoln CRANE, Inc.
390 Lincoln Road
Sudbury, MA 01776
Scott Nix, Chief of Police
415 Boston Post Road
Sudbury, MA 01776
Kevin Kennedy, Chief of Police
169 Lincoln Road
Lincoln, MA 01773
For Immediate Release
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Sudbury and Lincoln Police Departments and Sudbury Lincoln CRANE Issue Warning About New Snapchat “Snap Map” Feature
Sudbury Police Chief Scott Nix, Lincoln Police Lt. Sean Kennedy and Sudbury Lincoln CRANE wish to inform parents and guardians 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 community should be aware of the potential dangers associated with this update to the Snapchat app,” Chief Nix said. “The ability for other users to track a person’s exact location is a big concern for us and we highly recommend that parents disable this feature 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.
“This new Snapchat feature is extremely concerning as it allows anyone, including strangers, to access an individual’s location,” Lt. Kennedy said. “Parents are strongly encouraged to deactivate this feature if their children use the social media app to ensure they aren’t putting themselves in any danger.”
“This recent update is obviously worrisome, as Snapchat is extremely popular among students and young people,” said Dan Pereira, President of Sudbury Lincoln CRANE. “We are encouraging parents and guardians to talk to their children about the importance of privacy and never sharing personal information with strangers, especially your location.”