An interactive map from the fitness app Strava shows among other sensitive information about the location and activities of soldiers on western military bases in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. The map is published in november last year, but only last weekend it came to light that that also includes sensitive information.
The Global Heatmap’ of Strava uses information from satellites to determine the location and movements of the users. That happens, although not in real time, but cumulated over a period of two years. Areas and routes where activity is, on the basis of the intensity is more or less ripped off. The sports activities of Strava users can be registered with the smartphone and fitness trackers such as Fitbits.
Europe and the largest part of the United States lights bright in the ‘Heatmap’, as there are millions of people a fitness tracker, according to American newspaper Washington Post. In war zones and deserts in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, the map is almost completely dark coloured, a few small bright spots: well-known bases, and possibly also unknown, and sensitive sites, according to the Washington Post.
Although the location of some of the bases already known, such as the large base in the Afghan Kandahar, shows the Heatmap of the routes that the users are the most followed as they train. Some lines, however, also outside the bases, which could indicate possible patrol routes, which soldiers their fitness tracker. The Washington Post also notes that the map in Afghanistan is a spider web of lines shows between different bases and so bevoorradingsroutes does light up.
The American ministry of Defence declared that it investigates the situation. ‘The recent disclosure of data underlines the importance of raising awareness about the different situations when soldiers share personal information, ” says Audricia Harris, spokeswoman for the Pentagon, to the French news agency AFP.
According to Strava, could the problem be easily avoided. “The athletes that their data is indicated as ‘private’, to see their collected data.
The discovery was also the twenty-year-old Australian student, Nathan Ruser, who is on international security and Middle East studies.