Fitness devices can provide locations of soldiers, raising security concerns

Posted: Updated:
(Strava) A Global Heat Map, published by Strava, uses satellite info to map the locations and movements of subscribers to the company's fitness service over a two-year period, by illuminating areas of activity, The Washington Post reported. (Strava) A Global Heat Map, published by Strava, uses satellite info to map the locations and movements of subscribers to the company's fitness service over a two-year period, by illuminating areas of activity, The Washington Post reported.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- An interactive map found online can show the locations and activities of people who use fitness devices such as Fitbit, raising security concerns about soldiers and other people who are at U.S. military bases in sensitive areas.

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

Strava says it has 27 million users around the world, including people who own widely available fitness devices, as well as people who directly subscribe to its mobile app. The map is not live, but shows a pattern of accumulated activity between 2015 and September 2017.

The map shows a great deal of activity in the U.S. and Europe. But in war zones and deserts in countries such as Iraq and Syria, the heat map becomes almost entirely dark - except for scattered evidence of activity.

A closer look at those areas brings into focus the locations and outlines of well-known U.S. military bases, as well as other lesser-known and potentially sensitive sites - possibly because American soldiers and other personnel are using fitness trackers as they move around.

The Global Heat Map was posted online in November 2017, but the information it contains was only publicized recently.

The data could provide information to someone who wants to attack or ambush troops, the Post reported.

Military officials are looking into the situation to determine how to respond.

"DoD takes matters like these very seriously and is reviewing the situation to determine if any additional training or guidance is required, and if any additional policy must be developed to ensure the continued safety of DoD personnel at home and abroad," Maj. Audricia Harris, a Defense Department spokeswoman, told The Associated Press.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • New Jersey SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Behind the Scenes of Disney On Ice

    Behind the Scenes of Disney On Ice

    Behind the Scenes: Disney on IceBehind the Scenes: Disney on Ice

    Take a sneak peak behind the scenes of Disney on Ice! The show made a stop at the Nassau Coliseum.

    Take a sneak peak behind the scenes of Disney on Ice! The show made a stop at the Nassau Coliseum.

  • 2018 Country Music Award Association Awards

    2018 Country Music Award Association Awards

    Photos from the 2018 Country Music Award Association Awards on Nov. 14, 2018.

    Photos from the 2018 Country Music Award Association Awards on Nov. 14, 2018.

  • The 'worst toys' for the holidays, according to safety group

    The 'worst toys' for the holidays, according to safety group

    Tuesday, November 13 2018 6:35 PM EST2018-11-13 23:35:07 GMT

    A Black Panther “slash claw” and a plastic Power Rangers sword are among the items topping a consumer safety group’s annual list of worst toys for the holiday season.

    A Black Panther “slash claw” and a plastic Power Rangers sword are among the items topping a consumer safety group’s annual list of worst toys for the holiday season.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."