MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Can certain people find your exact location in a snap? If you have downloaded the latest version of Snapchat – chances are yes.
Sixteen-year-old Maddie Young and her friends love Snapchat. It is one of their favorite go-to apps.
“Snapchat is a huge part of my life where all my friends are around the world,” said Young.
One of the newest features on the popular social networking app – called Snap Map – is raising privacy concerns.
Here is how it works. As soon as you open the app, an emoji will appear and pinpoint your exact location on a map for all your friends to see.
“It tells you when you were last active so it’s kind of easy to stalk people and it’s kind of dangerous,” said 15-year-old Lili Rodriguez.
That is exactly the warning police departments across the country have for parents and young users.
“This is a dream come true for a child predator because now they can find their location and go meet them and do whatever their twisted imagination inspires them to do,” said Detectives Joshua Showman.
In a statement to CBS News, Snapchat said 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. With Snap Map, location sharing is off by default for all users and is optional.
Users can go back into the so-called “ghostmode” but it is up to the them to make sure.
“I had a couple of friends who did not turn it off right away. It took them 5 or ten minutes to figure it out because it’s kind of hard to find the options for it,” said Rodriguez.
Full instructions are on Snapchat’s web page.
To turn on ghostmode, click on the icon and go to settings, where you can click on the invisibility cloak icon.