The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The Varsity coxed quad with their coxswain from The Nobles School.
Web Exclusive
Fast Waters
Elizabeth Truelove, Sports Editor • November 30, 2023

Crossing under Elliot Bridge, senior Caroline Stevens and her other boatmates listen to the mass of spectators watching above, hearing the cowbells...

One of the outdoor classrooms used by the conservation biology class
Web Exclusive
Hands-On Bio Exploration
Jessica Boll, Staff Writer • November 30, 2023

The new conservation biology class, piloted by Jessie Crowley, focuses on learning different biology concepts through hands-on learning.  “Kids...

Web Exclusive
Debate goes the distance
Anya Aggarwal, Staff Writer • November 30, 2023

Hockaday debate students hosted the 46th annual Debate Invitational Nov. 9-11 with close to 800 participants in attendance.   The Ed Long...

Juliet, played by Ava Shipp, begs her mother, played by Saxon Mosely, to stop her impending marriage.
A Timeless Tragedy
November 30, 2023

Tracking Down the Location Apps


//PICTURED ABOVE: Life360 is a popular location tracking service that is often used by friends and family.

As easily as downloading an app and requesting location, virtually anyone can have access to another’s location. Life 360, Find my Friends and Snapchat are platforms used to readily track the location of friends or family. 

Life 360, a family networking app, is a location-based service designed to allow primarily family or friends to access each other’s location. On the app, users can join multiple “circles” to connect with groups of people.

Emilia Callahan, a junior, shares a Life360 circle with her parents so that they know her location. 

“Sometimes my parents get very picky if I am somewhere and I did not tell them,” Callahan said. “It causes a lot of hassle because I have to plan out my whole night exactly before I go, and if I stray from the plan there are consequences.”

The app has three plans including the basic, free version; Life360 Plus; and Life360 Driver Protect. In all three plans, the app can track real-time location, access users’ driving speed and monitor phone battery. The upgraded versions include additions such as location history and provide notifications about speeding and when a driver presses hard on the brake.

Callahan’s circle uses the Life360 Driver Protect. 

“The fact that my parents will get a notification if I pick up my phone while driving or take off quickly definitely makes me a better driver,” Callahan said, “but it sometimes creates unnecessary issues or tension because I am nervous they are going to get mad.” 

The Find My Friends location tracking service, developed by Apple, has fewer features than Life360, but easily shares locations via iMessage when using an Apple product.  Senior Isabella Akhtar uses the app to determine her friends’ locations.

“I like to see where my friends are if they’re picking me up,” Akhtar said. “ It allows them not to text me, ensuring saver driving.”

Finally, Snapchat released  “Snap Map,” which shows one’s location through the map feature on the app. Snap Map is opt-in, and users who do not wish to share their location can operate in “Ghost Mode.” 

The user’s location is updated every time the app is opened. Unlike Life360 and Find My Friends, Snap Map does not continuously update one’s location. Sophomore Melissa Dodson uses Snap Map only with her close friends, so not everyone is able to see her location. 

 “If your location is out there for all your friends to see, there’s always a chance that there’s someone who could use it for bad intentions,” Dodson said.

In fact, Snap Map shares exact locations up to the street name, so if a user is not operating in Ghost Mode, any one of their friends can find them. In addition, the Snap Inc. updated privacy policy, which will go into effect Oct. 30, details what information the company can capture through the app.

“When you use our services we may collect information about your location,” the policy says. “We may also collect information about your precise location using methods that include GPS, wireless networks, cell towers, Wi-Fi access points, and other sensors.”

Though Snapchat emphasizes it quickly deletes all content, it saves location information for different lengths of time. Company policy states it stores information about favorite places for up to 40 days in order to “personalize and improve your experience.”

Junior Trisha Ashish said Snap Map is not only an invasion of privacy but also a potential source of conflict.

“If you tell one person you are doing one thing, and you go do something else,” Ashish said, “it can cause drama.” 

Story by Kate Clark

Photo provided by Life 360

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Fourcast Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *