How far would you go to share your real-time information with your friends and family? Well, this new TikTok trend showcases something more intense than just stalking your friend’s via the Snapchat map.
Life360 is a subscription-based, real-time location-sharing app that’s now taking TikTok users by storm. According to the app’s website, Life360 is promoting safety as it can help ‘bring your family closer’ and ‘protect and connect people who matter the most’.
The intention of the app, founded in 2008, has its merit as it can help families help locate each other when there is an emergency. For example, calling your parents when you’re in danger or unable to go home.
@billyvsco Don’t make them regret calling you❤️ #familytime #dontloseyourish #drinking #life360lovesyou ♬ original sound – billy
However, Tiktokers are showcasing how they use the app amongst their friends, sharing their friends’ past locations, greeting them when they get home at their house, and even checking their friend’s phone battery percentage.
One Tiktok user took the results of the Life360 app provided and turned it into a Discord bot. He later said that he got in contact with one of the app’s product managers to talk about the app and his project.
A report from The Washington Post shares stories of parents forcing their kids to download the app and were constantly monitoring them, especially when reached college. Over on the subreddit r/insaneparents, Redditors are sharing horror stories of their parents constantly stalking them.
In 2019, CEO Chris Hulls started an AMA section on Reddit where users condemned the app for harassment and stalking. Some have noted the CEO’s responses to some of the questions as defensive and dismissive.
“My intent is not to give half-truths. I highlighted what is perhaps our most “controversial” data partnership. We hold ourselves to EU standards in the US, so anyone can file a GDPR DSAR request and we will honor it.
“Most people also don’t understand how apps work, so if I list every sort of SDK in our app the assumption will be we are doing something nefarious. For example, we essentially pass all key event data to Amplitude as our main metrics provider. Anyone with technical knowledge would realize this is completely benign, but it might sound scary to someone who doesn’t have a deeper background.”