Portsmouth schools are warning parents that a new location-sharing feature in Snapchat could put their children in danger.
The Snap Map feature lets users share their EXACT location with people on their Snapchat in real time.
In a letter seen by Spotted Portsmouth, one school said the map raised “serious safeguarding concerns” because children could be tracked on the map to their homes.
But Snap, the company behind Snapchat, says the feature is opt-in and can be switched off at any time.
What is Snap Map?
Snap Map was launched on 21st June and lets people browse a map of photos and videos that have been shared publicly.
It also lets people share their exact location with those they have added as “friends” in the app.
Users who are sharing their location appear on the map as a cartoon avatar
Some schools have criticised the accuracy of the location-sharing feature, with one warning that it could be used to “build up a picture of home addresses, travel routes, schools and workplaces”.
While location information is shared only with people on your “friends” list, that could include people you do not actually know, such as friends met on other apps and websites.
Others have criticised the way the map was added to Snapchat without a detailed announcement explaining exactly how it worked.
“We know tech companies are constantly developing their platforms and we’d encourage them to provide signposted information for parents and young people, so they know how to keep themselves safe,” said Rose Bray from the NSPCC.
“Parents could be given a bit of warning, so they can look up the information before the new feature launches, and have a conversation with their child.”