Snapchat could lose its Snap Map feature as part of a move to amend the data it collects on European users aged under 16 years ahead of the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The European Union will apply the regulation on 25 May: companies which breach it face fines of up to 4 per cent of their annual global revenue.
Snap Map is in the firing line as part of broader measures by Snapchat to cease collecting specific data on younger European users. A representative for parent Snap told Financial Times the company will stop processing data that might require parental consent, including geo-location history.
Teenagers, including those under 16 years old, are Snap’s main target audience and the app maker is unlikely to want to have to cut them off from using the app entirely in EU countries, the approach messenging service WhatsApp announced it would take earlier this week.
Snapchat faced criticism for how location tracking was used for its Snap Map feature, which launched in mid-2017. It allows users to track each other through the app and may end up being disabled for younger users.
In other Snap news, the app maker launched Snappables – which it describes as “new Lenses for playing augmented reality games” which can be controlled with touch, motion and facial expressions.
The company is also tipped to be testing six-second “unskippable” advertisements that cannot be dismissed, as is currently the case.