Dave Pinwell

Dave Pinwell

Dave Pinwell is a prolific blogger and IT enthusiast and has kindly allowed us to reproduce his popular weekly IT Talk column first published in the Solihull News. Dave is also CEO of Colebridge Trust and SUSTAiN which play a key role in providing strategic support to Solihull’s Voluntary & Community sector. Dave has extensive experience in the IT sector, with roles including IT Director with Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe Ltd.
Online Security, Tech News 5th July 2017 329

Alarm Bells Set Ringing By New Snap Maps App

It is unusual for the police to issue warning about new developments in the IT world, but several forces did exactly that last week after a new version of Snapchat was unleashed.

The update included a new feature, called Snap Maps, allowing friends to see exactly where a user’s location is using GPS tracking, even down to the exact building.

As Snapchat is the social media of choice for teenagers and even younger users, alarm bells rang.

The NSPCC also expressed its concern that the app was encouraging under-18s to broadcast their location to anyone who had befriended them via the social media channel.

Parents were strongly advised to turn the feature off on their children’s phones by finding out about the “Ghost Mode” of Snap Maps.

This hides the location tracking function, and is turned on through the “Settings” menu.

Snapchat is by no means the only phone all that tracks the location of users and can reveal it in unsuspecting ways. Photos posted on Facebook can show their location unless prevented from doing so – particular worry for someone posting holiday pictures in real time and indicating an empty house back home.

Folk are regularly surprised by Google Maps, when they select the rarely used “Your timeline” option from the menu and use its calendar function to select a date.

When it then displays a map and a time tracking of every movement they made that day and lists every location stopped at, whether Maps was being used or not, a look of shock can set in.

The cost of using today’s IT is that the providers try to track what we are up to.

Dave Pinwell

Dave Pinwell is a prolific blogger and IT enthusiast and has kindly allowed us to reproduce his popular weekly IT Talk column first published in the Solihull News. Dave is also CEO of Colebridge Trust and SUSTAiN which play a key role in providing strategic support to Solihull’s Voluntary & Community sector. Dave has extensive experience in the IT sector, with roles including IT Director with Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe Ltd.

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