Social media is making mass surveillance easier than ever — and we’re just embracing it

 Anew study raises significant concerns about Snapchat’s Snap Map app, finding that the company’s reassurances ring hollow.Such apps offer attractive features, but underneath the cute design, there’s also a lot of surveillance going on.Social mass surveillanceIn a world where countless social media services fight for our attention, Snapchat managed to firmly establish itself as one of the big boys. Translated into 20 languages, Snapchat boasts over 160 million users who on average, open the app almost 20 times a day. It’s already grown into a huge project. But like other big social media, Snapchat also raises privacy concerns — especially regarding its new Snap Map feature

.In June 2017, a new Snapchat feature was revealed, allowing users to share their real-time location with their friends. You can also view snaps from people close to you or see heat maps of users, it’s quite an interesting app. But not everyone loved it. Many users considered it to be a stalker heaven and child protection groups have vocally protested against it. Snapchat tried to assure its users that they “routinely work with law enforcement” but, as a new study has shown, this just opens the doors for mass surveillance. Dr. Neil Thurman of City, University of London and LMU Munich, says that Snapchat routinely gives user data away to advertisers and other third parties, which, among others, has allowed law enforcement agencies to spy on innocent citizens, such as legitimate protesters and trade union members.But as bad as Snap Map is, it’s just one of a range of apps that do more or less the same thing.“Snap Map is just one of a range of apps that allows social network users to be monitored without their knowledge and with pin-point accuracy,” says Thurman . “Indeed some of these apps far exceed Snap Map in their surveillance capabilities, and are able to track individuals over time and across multiple social networks.”

Source: Social media is making mass surveillance easier than ever — and we’re just embracing it

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