government

Official warning: Snapchat 'bug' gives away your location

Snap map will share your snaps unless you click on these settings

14:32 June 22, 2017
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Dubai: Authorities in the UAE are warning Snapchat users about the app’s latest version, less than 24 hours after the software was updated.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) on Thursday issued a warning to Snapchat users in the UAE about Snap Map.

The new Snap Map "bug" allows users to share their current location, and is supposed to only appear to friends on a map and updates when you open the app.

However, the new update allows the release of the geographical location of the Snapchat users — and exposes it to all the app users worldwide, not just to friends.

On its Twitter account, the TRA released a video in Arabic about how users can avoid sharing their snaps with strangers.

Giving away your location 

The TRA also noted the risks of automatically providing a map of the users’ location without their knowledge, which may lead to unaccounted consequences and breaches that harm the privacy of individuals, “as well as other negative consequences of automatic detection of users’ locations in time of using the application.” 

Under the update, any Snap connection through the app can be viewed as a point on an interactive map once the screen is pulled, and when clicking on any of the points, the image or scene is opened without informing the owners that their location has become exposed.

To avoid this, the TRA recommended a simple change to the app’s settings, which people may overlook.

The TRA said: “A user who wants to be protected should modify the app setting by clicking the ‘Next’ button on the screen, then clicking on the ghost mode ‘me only’, and then clicking ‘Next’. This way, any circulated Snap will not show the user’s location on the interactive map.”