David Scott, Chief of Police
59 Main St.
Pepperell, MA 01463
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Pepperell Police Department Issues Warning About New Snapchat “Snap Map” Feature
PEPPERELL — Chief David Scott and the Pepperell 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.
“This feature is highly concerning to us because it allows anyone to potentially see and track the exact locations of individuals, including vulnerable minors,” Chief Scott said. “It is important to take extra precautions with children on social media, and disabling this feature is an obvious measure parents should take in order to help maintain their kids’ privacy and safety online.”
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.