Location sharing is turned off when the app is first updated. Once it is accessed for the first time, Snap Map can be turned on or put into "Ghost Mode," which doesn't share the user's location with anyone. Users can also choose who they share their location with.
Snapchat says once Snap Map is turned on, a person's location is only updated while on Snapchat and not when it's being used in the background.
In a statement, Snapchat outlined how Snap Map works and what users can do if they want to switch it off:
"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 completely optional. Snapchatters can choose exactly who they want to share their location with, if at all, and can change that setting at any time. It’s also not possible to share your location with someone who isn’t already your friend on Snapchat, and the majority of interactions on Snapchat take place between close friends.”
FOX40 talked to a few Snapchat users and a parent of a user who all agree -- it's creepy. One girl has the update and is already using Ghost Mode.
Media expert Murray Newlands said Snapchat is used by a lot of young people, so parents should be aware of the dangers of allowing them to share their location. On the other hand, he thinks the location service is good for promoting events.