Experts warn that U.S. soldiers that use fitness trackers inside military bases can be easily tracked by hostile nations via the devices.
Strava aka the social network for athletes released a global heatmap of all people monitoring their fitness levels through fitness trackers in November, but it is only recently that experts have realized the heatmap can be used to spy on the position of security forces worldwide.
Security experts warn that even soldiers located in military bases that are located in remote places can be easily spotted via the devices.
Researchers at the Institute for United Conflict Analysts recently noted that U.S. military bases can be mapped and identified via satellites. Nathan Ruser explained that the risk of being tracked rises whenever soldiers decide to turn tracking on, just like common people do.
Also, spies can get valuable information about the soldiers’ fitness routine and their jogging routes from faraway places.
In November, Strava promised to include in the heatmap six times more info than before. In total, the heatmap will include data on 1 billion activities and tens of millions of users worldwide. The platform tracks athletes’ whereabouts with help from GPS data provided by smartphones, FitBits, and smart watches.
Pentagon Promises to Take the Issue “Very Seriously”
In the wake of the report, the Pentagon said they take such matters “very seriously” and pledged to assess the situation to see if the soldiers need more guidance or training about their fitness trackers.
On the other hand, not all experts think that sharing such data would pose a great risk. From a strategic point of view, the location of the bases is well known, so fitness trackers can only add some “nice ancillary data,” according to one expert.
Just by accessing the website, just about everybody can access anybody’s running routes. Also, U.S. soldiers have updated the info with profile photos of themselves in the military outfit.
However, potential enemies could use the fitness tracker data to identify patrol routes and even the locations where specific individuals are deployed.
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