International

Oops: Fitness Trackers Reveal Location of US Bases

Discovered by accident after a college looked at maps around the globe, the fitness paths of US military personnel were discovered to available on the Internet.

Popular trackers like Fitbit and Jawbone have been actively promoted by the Pentagon in a program to fight obesity among service members.

The problem is those trackers upload daily jogging routes and activity to the Internet. Though names are not revealed, the existence of US personnel around the world is.

And in some cases, those routes can easily verify the existence of secret US operations as well as patrol routes and schedules.

This is a major security fail for the DOD, which is actively trying to prevent another Snowden event.

Here’s more from Chicago Tribune…

An interactive map posted on the internet that shows the whereabouts of people who use fitness devices such as Fitbit also reveals highly sensitive information about the location and activities of soldiers at U.S. military bases, in what appears to be a major security oversight.

The Global Heat Map, published by the GPS tracking company Strava, uses satellite information to map the location and movements of subscribers to the company’s fitness service over a two-year period, by illuminating areas of activity.

Strava says it has 27 million users around the world, including people who own widely available fitness devices such as Fitbit, Jawbone and Vitofit, as well as people who directly subscribe to its mobile phone application. The map is not live — rather it shows a pattern of accumulated activity between 2015 and September last year.

Most parts of the United States and Europe, where millions of people use some form of fitness tracker, show up on the map as a blaze of light, because there is so much activity.

In warzones and deserts such as Iraq and Syria, the heatmap becomes almost entirely dark — except for a few scattered pinpricks of activity. Zooming in on those brings into focus the locations and outlines of known U.S. military bases, as well as of other unknown and potentially sensitive sites — presumably because U.S. soldiers and other personnel are using fitness trackers as they move around.


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