October 14, 2017
We are sacrificing our safety for the elation of inessential technologies.
When something cool becomes cooler it’s natural to get excited about it. Daily, sometimes hourly advances in technology allows us to increase our productivity in many aspects.
The SnapChat app is a popular app that allows you to share a picture or video amongst followers that only last for 24 hours. After that the picture is gone forever. Unless someone screen captures it, but the app lets you know if they did.
In an update released on June 21, 2017 by SnapChat, the app introduced its users to, the Snap Map. Along with a few other features like background edits and voice effects. The Snap Map now pin points the exact location of where your snap was taken and places it on a map viewable by followers. The purpose of this map isn’t very clear, it’s just a “cool new feature”.
SnapChat, along with many other location enabled app developers, are not going to come out front and let you know if location data is being stored on their servers nor what the data can and will be used for. For legal reasons, there is an explanation of data storage but its buried in their terms of agreement that only 3% of people read.
What we are failing to see is the most threatening aspect of our phones… the location services. Sure it allows you to find the closest ATM or gas station, which are necessities. But sharing your location along with a picture presents a little more concern about safety.
If you don’t have SnapChat or you’re smart enough to turn your location services off in the app, but someone with services on uses it where you live or work – it’s almost as if YOU have the services on. If they are sharing their location and you are with them, its simple math.
We have become so engulfed in the technology we’ve overlooked how it can work and be used against us. The data is being stored in some way shape or form. There’s no denying it. Everything you do on the internet is tracked and used for some purpose. We are sacrificing our safety for the elation of inessential technologies.
Our children, with lower critical thinking abilities simply because of their age, are sharing everything they do and now everywhere they go. Giving anyone with the desire to track and access them a clear lane to do so. If they’re Snap mapping while with you, every location is being shared. If your privacy is important, your child’s snaps of your dog or infant being cute is now accompanied by your address.
The argument of our lives being shared on social media has now ballooned to the exact location of your kids and family being at risk. Here’s the kicker; there are no laws being broken by SnapChat or any location services app. We’ve given them permission to track and keep watch over us.
Here’s a suggestion. Unless the app requires it, turn all location services off. No harm in sharing photos and videos with your family and friends. If they want to know where you are or were, tell them directly. Allowing a traceable, accessible map of your whereabouts is crossing the line. My home is a location services free house. Why? My privacy and safety is paramount to any app feature.