APD warns parents of new Snapchat feature

Published 11:39 am Monday, June 26, 2017


By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The Alabaster Police Department is warning parents to be cautious of a new location-sharing feature recently added to the popular Snapchat phone app, and said it could lead to some safety issues when used.

In late June, Snap Inc., the developers of the Snapchat app, added a new location-sharing feature called Snap Map. The new feature allows users to share their location in real time with others on their friends list, and allows friends to keep up with each others’ movements.

Users can either share their location with everyone on their friends list, some of their friends or none of their friends by keeping the app set to “Ghost mode” or by disabling location services for the Snapchat app on an iPhone.

“Snapchat recently released a new update that includes a location sharing feature called Snap Map. Snap Map allows users to share their location in real time,” read a post on the Alabaster Police Department Facebook page. “We tested the feature, and the location was very accurate.

On its Facebook page, the APD demonstrated the new location-sharing feature, which showed the officer’s exact location inside the Alabaster Police Department building, prompting concerns from many local parents on the page.

“This is obviously a safety concern,” the APD post read. “We suggest parents check their child’s phone to ensure that the location services is disabled or that the app is set to ‘Ghost mode.’”