News

January 30, 2018
 

DOD studying implications of wearable devices giving too much info

Tags:
by Jim Garamone
DOD News
The Defense Department urges service members and DOD civilians with wearable electronic devices to use the strictest privacy setting. Officials made the suggestion after publication of a "heat map" showing concentration of U.S military personnel overseas.
DOD photograph by Jim Garamone

Defense Department officials are studying security issues raised by physical conditioning trackers that also can be used to track service members’ whereabouts, a Pentagon spokesman told reporters Jan. 29.

The concern comes from a “heat map” posted by Strava — the makers of a fitness tracking application that shows the routes service members run or cycle in their daily exercises. These maps can show military bases and may be used to target individuals.

“We take these matters seriously, and we are 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,” Army Col. Robert Manning III said during a morning news conference at the Pentagon.

Wearable electronic fitness trackers upload data to Strava, which then publishes a heat map of the activity so people can download the maps to find good running or cycling routes.

Use privacy settings
“The rapid development of technology requires the rapid refinement of policy and procedures to enhance force protection and operational security,” Manning said. “DOD personnel are advised to place strict privacy settings on wireless technologies and applications.”

Service members are prohibited from wearing such wireless technologies in some areas and during some operations, Manning said.

Manning didn’t say what the department will do about the issue. “We have confidence in commanders to employ tactics, techniques and procedures that enhance force protection and operational security with the least impact to individuals,” the colonel said.

All DOD personnel go through annual training on information security. The training urges service members and DOD civilians to limit profiles on the internet, including personal social media accounts, Manning said.

“Furthermore, operational security requirements provide further guidance for military personnel supporting operations around the world,” he said. The heat map incident re-emphasizes the need for service members to be cautious about what data to share via wearable electronic devices, he added.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines – February 16, 2018

News It’s official: DOD releases new ‘deploy or get out’ policy – The Pentagon on Feb. 14 released its new policy on military lethality, which will begin separation procedures for service members who have been non-deployable for the last 12 months or more.     Business South Korea’s K2 tank to run on German transmission...
 
 

News Briefs – February 16, 2018

Trump’s military parade could cost $10M-$30M The White House budget director says a military parade envisioned by President Donald Trump could cost between $10 million and $30 million, although that money is not included in the administration’s new budget request. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told the House Budget Committee Feb. 14...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

A different look at history

Courtesy photograph An air raid alert in Los Angeles, Feb. 25, 1942. Those of you who are students of history and enjoy the subject are the ones who will carry it forward to future generations. Many times I have been in classes...