New Snapchat Update Raising Privacy Concerns

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Many social media platforms we use every day are continually updating and trying to compete with one another.

Last week, Snapchat introduced a new feature that enables users to share their location with their ‘friends’. It shows you a map with everyone’s ‘bitmoji’ placed in various parts showing where everyone is.

This raises some serious safety questions, especially considering many users of Snapchat are young teens, with many still at school. Schools have already issued warnings to parents about the new feature.

The map only shows your location to people you have added as a friend, so it is not as though complete strangers can track you. But, is it safe to show exactly where you are at all times?

Concerns have been raised that this new feature could lead to stalking and working out exactly where someone lives. However, Snapchat have assured everyone that the feature is opt-in and you can disable it by going on ‘Ghost Mode’.

"With Snap Map, location sharing is off by default for all users and is completely optional. Snapchatters can choose exactly who they want to share their location with, if at all, and can change that setting at any time," a Snap spokesman said to the BBC.

"It's also not possible to share your location with someone who isn't already your friend on Snapchat, and the majority of interactions on Snapchat take place between close friends."

When the update was released many took to twitter to express their opinions about the new feature:

People are not completely convinced by the new snapchat update, it appears to have invited the possibility of stalking and trust issues within relationships.
 
Radar asked students what they think:
 
First-year student, Rebecca, said: “I don’t like it. I think it’s an invasion of privacy. I don’t want people to constantly know where I am. It’s kind of creepy.”
 
Whereas, journalism student, Jennifer, said: “I like it, I think it’s interesting and if you really don’t want people to know where you are you can just turn it off.”
 
Radar also spoke to our President of Education and Welfare, Kerry Harrison, to see what she thinks of the new update. She said: “I think if used appropriately it could be really useful. For example, selecting only your flatmates to see your location could be really good for safety. However, students need to be careful about how they use it and make sure they aren’t posting anything on their stories or events that could get them in trouble.” 
 
There are many different opinions about the new update. People see it as a fun way to stay connected to their friends but there is a need to be cautious about who can see where you are. 
 
We belong to a society that has a need to be constantly connected but has Snapchat gone too far? Let us know what you think.

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