Snapchat Map
A French man tracked down his girlfriend on Snapchat and stabbed another man that she was with at the time. Screengrab Undone Redone/Vimeo

A 25-year-old French man was arrested last week after he used geolocation information provided by Snapchat’s Snap Map feature to track down the location of his girlfriend and stabbed a man that she was with at the time, France Bleu reported.

The attack took place last Tuesday, and he was arrested shortly after admitting to the crime on the same night. He has been in police custody since Thursday and will face trial. The man that he stabbed was reported to be in good condition despite the attack.

The incident was enabled by a feature introduced earlier this year by Snapchat called Snap Map. The feature allows users to share their location with friends, as well as see where their friends are. It also places “stories”—photos and images that last for 24 hours and are available for anyone who is friends with a person to view—on a map that allows users to view what is happening in certain locations.

What many users might not realize is Snap Map updates their location every time they open the app—not just when they post a photo or video—and broadcasts that information to any person a user is friends with.

The Snap Map is an opt-in feature on Snapchat and is only available to users after the update their app and walk through a setup process for the feature, but Snapchat received criticism for doing a sub-optimal job of explaining just how often Snap Maps shares a user’s location.

Unfortunately, in the case that occurred in France, the geolocation information provided by Snapchat’s Snap Map allowed an abusive boyfriend to track the location of his girlfriend without her being aware of the fact she was broadcasting location information.

According to the report from France Bleu, the man turned to Snapchat to find the woman after she didn’t pick up her phone when he tried to contact her. When he found her, she was in the car with another man.

Upon confronting the two, the man pulled a knife and stabbed the other man, whom he did not know, in the thigh. France Bleu reported the man was suspected of committing violence against his girlfriend just a few months prior to the stabbing incident.

The man admitted guilt and confessed to letting jealousy get the best of him but still blamed his girlfriend for the incident and the abuse, reportedly telling police, “It is she who seeks it."

Snapchat has come under fire from law enforcement and privacy groups when it launched its Snap Map feature, with a number of organizations noting the feature could be invasive and put users in dangerous situations.

How To Turn Off Snap Map

It is possible to turn off Snap Map and keep location information private from users. In the settings menu, scroll down to the heading “Who can…” and find the “See My Location” option. Tap it and there will be a number of options, including making location available to all friends or only a select number.

To make sure no one can see a user’s location, user should select to enable “Ghost Mode.” Available in the “See My Location” menu, the option will ensure that no one will see the geolocation of an individual’s snaps. Snapchat still will track the user’s location for geolocation-centric features like filters.