Op-ed

Strava Fitness App Can Reveal Military Sites, Analysts Say

By January 29, 2018 No Comments

A fitness app that posts a map of its users’ activity has unwittingly revealed the locations and habits of military bases and personnel, including those of American forces in Iraq and Syria, security analysts say.

The app, Strava, which calls itself “the social network for athletes,” allows millions of users to time and map their workouts and to post them online for friends to see, and it can track their movements at other times. The app is especially popular with young people who are serious about fitness, which describes many service members.

Since November, the company has published a global “heat map” showing the movements of people who have made their posts public. In the last few days, security analysts have started to take note of that data, and some have argued that the map represents a security breach.

Strava “is sitting on a ton of data that most intelligence entities would literally kill to acquire,” Dr. Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, Calif., warned on Twitter.