“From a law enforcement perspective I would not recommend anyone getting on Snapchat and becoming susceptible to stalkers,” said Brandon Boney, a police officer with Dallas County Schools. “I’ve worked calls where a picture that was intended to go to one specific person got sent to the user’s entire friend list and through that she was able to be tracked.”
Users are also concerned that Snapchat settings might not be as specific as they should be. Although when users first update the app it allows them to choose whether to share their locations or hide themselves using ghost mode, many click through the introduction leaving themselves visible to those that follow them.
“It can be a hazard to kids who do not know how to properly use it,” 17-year-old Rylee Roberts said.
However, some teens find the app to be useful, especially when it comes to finding friends.
“It’s useful because it allows me to see my friends’ locations,” 16-year-old Payton Harrington said.
Harrington said an added benefit is knowing if her boyfriend is where he says he is.
“I share him with his friends, and they like to move around a lot.”
While Snapchat has said that it is banking on more user traffic due to the update, and teens like Harrington enjoy the transparency it provides, many adults are having difficulty finding any upside to the update.
“This is a really good way for bad people to do bad things,” said Erin Cristales who works as a journalism teacher at Braswell High School. “There are plenty of other ways to use Snapchat that do not involve letting others view your location.”