Snapchat's new location feature raises privacy concerns for some

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DOTHAN, Al. (WTVY) - Smart phone apps like Snapchat are a way for us to quickly connect and share with friends and family, but a new feature has some people concerned.

Snapchat's new feature called "Snap Maps" pin-points your exact location. From the city you're in, to the street you're on and even shows if you are in a building or driving a vehicle. It was designed so friends can meet up in real life, but could lead to trouble if it’s not done the right way.

Carla Baxter has a close relationship with her 16-year-old daughter Zykiyah Corbitt. They even work out together at Planet Fitness in Dothan. This mother and daughter know just about everything about each other, but Baxter didn't know Snapchat can show exactly where she and her daughter are located at any given moment.

"Anyone can know where she is, and anyone can find her other than me. I want to know where you are, but we don't need everybody to know where you are,” said Baxter.

"Any device that shows exactly where you are to an unknown person is very dangerous for your safety,” added Dothan Investigator Lacy Schulmerich. “Parents really need to do their own investigation into each app."

There are options for people who do not want to be seen. If you go to your settings, you can place it on 'ghost mode' that way the only person who can see your exact location, is you. You can also select specific friends who are the only ones who can see your location. This helped put Baxter’s mind at ease.

"If something happens to her or we're trying to get in touch with her, then we can,” added Baxter. “As far as family knowing her location, I think that would be great, as long as it's monitored.”

Snapchat said in a statement the safety of users is very important. It says with Snap Map, location-sharing is off by default for all users and it is optional. It's also not possible to share your location with someone who isn't your friend on Snapchat.

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