Snapchat smartphone app raising concerns
A smartphone app that's gaining in popularity, offers a quick way to share pictures that are supposed to completely vanish into cyberspace.Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A smartphone app that's gaining in popularity, offers a quick way to share pictures that are supposed to completely vanish into cyberspace.
But it's raising concerns that some users, especially kids, might use the app to send photos they shouldn't.
Snapchat is one of the newer, free apps for snapping and sharing photos. The icon for the app is a ghost. The idea is that the person who receives your photo has up to 10 seconds to view it before it disappears.
Rhonda Montgomery is a mother and skeptic. She said the app may lead some people, especially younger ones, to believe they can send any type of photos, even inappropriate ones, since they're supposed to disappear.
"They're not thinking about the fact that you can take a snapshot of it and then it's there forever," said Montgomery.
Action News downloaded the app to give it a try. You have to hold your finger on the screen to view the picture. You can adjust the viewing time, but the max is 10 seconds. Still, if you know how to do it, you can get your fingers in the right spot, and iPhone users can take a photo of their screen, essentially saving the photo.
"It's not temporary. There's a copy of everything sent. And if someone really wants to, they can take a picture of that," said UNLV student James Kohl.
"Parents, monitor what your kids are sending on their phones. Monitor the types of apps that they have on their phone," said Jose Hernandez with Metro Police.
Police said this app is relatively new and different, but the rules are the same when it comes to sharing any kind of digital photo.
"If it's something that you don't want anyone else but the intended person to receive, then you should not send that photo," advised Hernandez.
Police also said cell phone pictures contain internal information that traces back to the device that took the photo.
But when it comes to stopping someone else from sending your photos, there's no app for that.