A popular jogging app is leaking military secrets

 January 28, 2018


The fitness tracking app Strava released a heat map last fall showing jogging routes logged by its users around the world. But in recent days, independent military experts have noticed the map discloses the locations of one normally secretive set of fitness buffs: military personnel from the U.S. and other Western nations, deployed at sensitive locations around the globe.

Prompted by the observations of 20-year-old Australian student Nathan Ruser, experts weighing in on Twitter have spotted what look to be U.S. and allied bases in Syria, French outposts in Niger, and Turkish troops on patrol in Syria. In some cases, as The Guardian reports, the paths appear to show details of the layouts of the military sites that might not otherwise be available to outsiders.

The apparent security lapse highlights the trouble that military groups and other organizations have maintaining adequate policies to restrict sensitive information in an era where people routinely upload their exercise sites, geotagged photos, and other data to cloud services. The Pentagon is looking into the issue, The Washington Post reported Sunday, noting that defense officials have previously encouraged troops to use devices like Fitbits to stay active. In 2013, the Defense Dept. actually distributed 2,500 of the devices during an anti-obesity campaign.

In response to the reports, Strava said that the map excludes locations and activities users designate as private and that it’s “committed to helping people better understand” its privacy rules, CNN reports.

You can search for familiar and secret places on the heat map here.



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