Pentagon Reviewing Privacy Policies After Fitness App Reveals Sensitive Info
The Pentagon says it’s reviewing its privacy policies after it was discovered U.S. troops are revealing locations and personnel information of U.S. military bases through their exercise routines, as first discovered by an Australian National University student.
Nathan Russer, who is studying international security and Middle Eastern studies, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, pointed out over Twitter this weekend that Strava Labs, a social network for athletes, where users share their exercise routes, has published a global heatmap, which is a huge security concern. The heatmap has been up since November of last year. It’s a data visualization of all exercise activity uploaded by its members. That Strava app can be used on smartphones and fitness trackers like FitBits. For example, if you run or go for a bike ride around your neighborhood you can share the exact route you took to the Strava social network through its app.
A U.S. Marine Corps spokesperson told NPR, "Recent data releases emphasize the need for situational awareness when members of the military share personal information." A U.S. Central Command spokesperson told CNN in a statement that, “The coalition is in the process of implementing refined guidance on privacy settings for wireless technologies and applications, and such technologies are forbidden at certain coalition sites and during certain activities. We will not divulge specific tactics, techniques and procedures.”