New Snapchat feature sparks privacy concerns

Posted at 2:38 PM, Jun 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-26 14:38:04-04

(KTXL/SNAPCHAT/CNN) - Snapchat has graduated from innocent puppy filters to connecting users all across the world.

The new opt-in "Snap Map" feature shares your location with your Snapchat friends, but does it cross a line?

"Honestly, I think it's kind of creepy people can actually see you when you zoom in," said Snapchat user Eunice Gonzalez. "People can see the houses and streets and everything."

"It's kind of cool to see where people are but it's weird because of privacy reasons," said Elena Simon, another user.

Privacy seems to be the biggest concern regarding the Snap Map.

Media expert Murray Newlands told Fox40 the application is mainly used by younger people. He said if the location service is turned, on parents should be concerned about their children's safety.

jessie simon, mom

"I talk to my son about it yesterday and I said just to be very cautious and don't let anybody know where he is if there is a feature to block it go ahead and use that," said Jesse Simon, mother to Snapchat user.

And that feature does exist - users can turn off the feature. In fact, users must turn the Snap Map's functionality on before using it.

But if users want to enjoy the Snap Map without sharing their own location, there is "Ghost Mode."

"The Ghost Mode, yeah I guess I'll put that so no one will be able to see my location," said Snapchat user Ruth Gonzalez.

"The safety of our community is very important to us and we want to make sure that all snapchatters, parents and educators have accurate information about how the snap map works," said a Snapchat spokesperson.

While the new update will take some getting used to, avid users said they won't delete the app anytime soon.

"I'll still use it," said Elena Simon. "I'll probably turn on the ghost mode."

Copyright 2017 KTXL and Snapchat via CNN. All rights reserved.