The fact that Snapchat follows its followers is not news, but the newly-released Snap Map feature has some on edge.
It’s not just tracking you. It isn’t just taking sharing that data with advertisers. We’re already privy to that kind of access and we’re pretty complacent.
Snapchat has been consistent in pushing the limits of what users will accept. It seems they’re testing the waters with Snap Map. Using location tracking, the Bitmoji avatars of Snapchat users will be placed at the user’s real-life location. It also curates Snapchat Stories from popular events and broadcasts them to anyone viewing the Snap Map.
The Snap Map uses the location data of users and broadcasts it to friends, making personal data much more accessible. It’s difficult to pinpoint what makes the feature, which was released last week, so unnerving. Users are used to receiving suggestions for new geo filters based on location, but it’s a pretty sizeable leap between filters and a broadcasted location.
If you’re feeling a bit iffy about privacy or safety, you can definitely disable the Snap Map feature.
1. Open the Snapchat app
2. Pinch inwards on the home screen (the one where you see your double chin in harsh lighting)
3. The Snap Map screen will give you the option to be viewable by anyone, by friends only, or by no-one (Ghost Mode).
4. Even if you’re active in Ghost Mode, Snapchat may still have access to your location. Make sure you disable access to location in your apps menu.
By following these steps, you should be hidden to Snap Map while still being able to use Snapchat as usual.
Here’s a view of what that should look like in Android (Google Pixel):