Nowadays almost everything we do is online. As technology becomes more and more involved in our everyday lives, it begins to invade our privacy. One of the newer features on Snapchat, Snapchat Plus, is a big invader of privacy that needs to be taken more seriously. While seeming like a cool new feature that has many benefits, it is a danger to people’s personal privacy
One of the features that come with snapchat plus is the Friend Solar System feature. The Friend Solar System allows users to see which friends they speak to the most and rank them by that order. The ranking system is shown through something called a solar system. If you are ranked as Mercury on someone else’s solar system, it means that you are their ‘Best Friend.’ People can be categorized as a bestfriend or a friend depending on where you are in the solar system. The former means that you are one of their eight closest friends, but they are not one of yours. The latter means that you are both among each other’s eight friends. Although this can be seen as something cool and simple, it is an extreme invasion of privacy. Your snap chat friends do not need to be able to see where they sit on your best friends list. It frankly isn’t anyone’s business where they are on your personal account. This new feature, while having tons of bells and whistles, is overall sharing too much information and in the grand scheme of things, is very pointless for people to have.
Snapchat has a feature called “Snap Map” where if you share your location, you can see your friends locations of when they were last active on the app. When you turn off Ghost Mode you are agreeing to share your location with friends. However, snapchat Plus has a feature called Ghost Trail that gives Snapchat Plus users the ability to see their friends’ locations from the last 24 hours, making their whereabouts much more visible. One of the main points of snap maps was to see when and where your friends were active. Now people with the Snapchat Plus features can see everywhere you have been in the last day, this is an unnecessary feature. People who do not have the feature can still be tracked by people they have on snapchat that have access to these ghost trails. There are also apps that are specifically for tracking location and are downloaded with that specific intent. This feature invades users location privacy along with it being unnecessary due to the fact that there are plenty of location sharing apps that do not cost $3.99 per month.
Another thing that came with Snapchat Plus was the addition of an AI. Since its formal launch, Snapchat users have been vocal about their concerns. One user called his interaction “terrifying” after he said it lied about not knowing where the user was located. After the user lightened the conversation, he said the chatbot accurately revealed he lived in Colorado. Now the AI is available to all snapchat users. However, the only way to get rid of the AI is to purchase Snapchat Plus. A large majority of people purchase Snapchat Plus just to get rid of the A.I
“I think AI is an invasion of privacy because it is able to track everything you do and everywhere you’ve been even if you don’t want it to,” junior Emma Kate Rodrigue said. “I also think it’s an invasion of privacy because it is not a choice whether you have it or not.”
With features like Snapchat Plus, the world is becoming more and more reliant on technology. With that comes the over invasion of privacy and people feeling unsafe with the social media apps they are constantly using. While the features of Snapchat Plus are attention grabbing, it is not worth the damages that come with it.