News

January 30, 2018
 

Fitness devices can provide locations of soldiers

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 Jan. 28.

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. AP




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


 
 

 

Army fields new handgun system to military police

Army photograph by Lewis Perkins The Army began fielding the modernized M17 and M18 Modular Handgun Systems to the Military Police School in December. The school is expected to received about 1,400 weapons in total. The U.S. Ar...
 
 

Greywolf completes NTC rotation

Air Force photograph by Capt. Scott Kuhn A Bradley assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, engages an enemy vehicle during Decisive Action Rotati...
 
 

Arctic Wolves Join Japanese Forces in Desert

Army photograph by Maj. Charlie Dietz Capt. Alexander Quataert, 1st Stryker Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, and soldiers from the 72nd Tank Regiment, Japanese Ground Self Defense Force, analyze a map of desert terrain in prepa...