Fitness tracking data on Strava app reveal US military bases details, sparking security concerns

Facts from health trackers that plainly display the movement of personnel at U.S. armed forces bases is sparking significant concerns, with industry experts citing probable dangers to base security.

The data, collected by a host of conditioning products, has actually been shared by people with exercise tracker app Strava. Nevertheless, a global “heatmap” of exercise knowledge printed by Strava has fueled problems that service members are sharing knowledge with regards to their movements, specifically in hazardous locations this kind of as Afghanistan and Syria.

Actions within the sprawling Kandahar Airfield in Southern Afghanistan, as an example, are plainly documented to the map. Stateside bases also display up over the map.

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“DoD will take matters like these pretty significantly and it is examining the problem to ascertain if any additional training or assistance is needed, and if any more coverage should be created to be sure the continued basic safety of DoD staff in your own home and abroad,” a Office of Protection spokesperson stated inside a assertion emailed.

The U.S. army conducts regular education for service members on details safety, whilst the heatmap indicates that a lot more attention wants for being paid out to info privacy.

“Annual education for all DoD staff recommends limiting general public profiles on the net, which include personalized social media accounts,” discussed the spokesperson. “Furthermore, operational security needs present even further steerage for armed service personnel supporting operations around the globe. Recent info releases emphasize the necessity for situational consciousness when members from the military services share personalized data.”


The world wide heatmap, which was printed in November 2017, tracked 1 billion activities from September 2017, according to Strava. The map is compiled from 3 trillion latitude and longitude points and reflects a total distance traveled of 17 billion miles.

First noticed by Nathan Ruser, a member with the Institute for United Conflict Analysts (IUCA), the map has shone a light on data privacy and its impact on operational safety. “It looks pretty pretty, but not amazing for Op-Sec. US Bases are evidently identifiable and mappable,” tweeted Ruser.

U.S. bases in Syria also clearly show up within the map, according to protection analyst Tobias Schneider, as does the Hmeimim airbase, which is being used by Russian forces in the country. The map, he tweeted, is “excellent for locating military bases.”


Strava does give consumers the option not to share their knowledge. “Our world-wide heatmap represents an aggregated and anonymized view of over a billion activities uploaded to our platform,” spelled out Strava, in a assertion emailed to Fox News. “It excludes activities that have been marked as private and user-defined privateness zones. We are committed to helping people better understand our settings to give them control over what they share.”

Strava is one of a number of companies that lets users share details of their atheltic endeavors on social networking – others include health and fitness tech giant Fitbit and running app Runkeeper.


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