Remove tracking on Snapchat
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Many people across the country, and worldwide have heard of the extremely popular app 'Snapchat'. If you have not heard of it, your children have! With 150 MILLION DAILY USERS, this has certainly become very popular, very quickly.
Snapchat is a very fun to use app. I have many daily laughs from it, and it is a good way to keep in touch with friends in a fun and new way.
However, there has been a recent update to the app, which has created a system in which users can be tracked and located very easily. When I say located, it is not a general area in which they are located, such as a town name, the app has the ability to pin point any user to their exact location, within metres. I know this because I have just today tested it with friends.
A lot of people will say that this is fine, because your 'friends' in which you accept to follow you on snapchat should not create any concerns. However, I personally feel that the smart phone generation starts at a very young age. Children as young as 11 now have their own smart phone, and most likely the majority of the population under 30, who own a smart phone, have the app - 'Snapchat'
I am sure that many users are very careful as to who can follow them on all their social media.
I am concerned that there is a younger generation in which this new feature could cause major problems for. As a younger child, or a teenager, popularity of a person can be defined within their peers, by the amount of followers they have. Sounds silly, but it is the truth.
Children, and teenagers, even adults, will accept any friend request, without realising the consequence in which they could be faced with.
My point is that there are certain people that could prey on younger persons, and could quite easily create fake profiles, in order to be able to add these vulnerable person(s) as friends. We all know that fake social media profiles are most likely in their millions, and the user behind the screen is not always the person in which is pictured, or the person in which is being spoken to. We all know this happens, as there are many campaigns about internet safety, and there have unfortunately been some terrible incidents in which vulnerable people, have fallen victim to the nasty people in which decide to do this. This is of course defined as grooming, stalking, and can lead to much worse offences.
My concern with snapchat, is that due to the popularity of the app, there will be many younger people that will constantly have their location enabled, so that their 'friends' can see where they are. It's a given, its a new and clever feature, so it will be followed and used by many millions of people. Going back to my previous point, what if there is a person sat behind a computer somewhere, pretending to be someone they are not? To be blunt, there could be, and most likely is, pedophiles and child groomers, pretending to be 15 year old teenagers.
Should the innocent party think they are talking to another teenager, when in fact they are not, there are not many younger Snapchat users in which would not accept a friend request, as numbers mean everything to some people.
If the innocent party should decide to enable their location 24/7, what on earth is stopping these terrible monsters from going to wherever the innocent party is, and waiting until they appear in person. I would not like to name the possibilities of what could happen, any person with a right mind, and any person that is up to date with current affairs can only hazard a guess at what the consequences could be.
As stated earlier, the app has near enough pin point accuracy, and I believe that there are many people that will pray on this, with innocent people just trying to use a fun app with their friends. If possible - test it for yourself, and see the capabilities of real-time and accurate location of a person. It is very scary.
If a comment were made from the administrators of Snapchat on this matter, I believe their response would be something along lines of the following;
"We care about the safety of our users, and we encourage anybody who does not want their location shared, to switch off this feature within the app"
Really though, such a popular app, which younger people will take this on board and actually do that. The attitude may be that they think they will be fine.
I genuinely think that this has the potential to cause real harm. The update and feature is only fairly new, and I think it needs to be taken down before people take advantage, and create life changing consequences for anybody.
Please, think about your children, brothers, sisters. Lets get this feature removed for the safety of innocent users.
(After thoughts from original post) - I have had some good feedback from people in which I have always trusted their advice. To the conclusion that the possibilities for misuse of this stack up. Take a bad relationship break up for example, one of the parties involved does not take it kindly, and tracks their (ex) partner - in an angry mood, who is to predict what could happen? Many vicious crimes take place due to people being angry, and lashing out in a moment of madness. Again, you could argue that either party could disable the ability for anyone else to see where they are, but realistically - is this the first thing that would cross your mind after a difficult break up? Is the first thing you would do is open Snapchat and either delete the other party, or disable your location services? I know it is not the first thing I would do.
You could also argue that an employer could track an employee in real time. If the employee is doing nothing wrong, then that's fair enough, but surely this could cross the line in terms of privacy invasion, in which everybody is entitled to.
The feature could be used to stalk anybody, which can lead to all sorts of things. Certain predators right this moment have the ability to do this. People have the ability to track people, and record or take images for purpose of blackmail.
I am sure that I will receive suggestions of further potential misuse of this feature, and I am happy to add them on should any suggestions be made.
I am now aware that Snapchat now has a headquarters in London. My plan is to gain enough signatures to be able to correctly approach them, with intentions to make sure that this can be correctly reported to people worldwide.
I genuinely believe that we could make a difference to any potential dangers, attacks, or harm, whether physical or emotional, that this could cause the 150 million regular users of Snapchat.
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