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Your fitness tracker knows too much about you

Your fitness tracker knows too much about you
From Mashable - January 30, 2018

Your fitness tracker knows too much about you.

Where you jog, where you work, and, yes, where you sleepall this and more is collected, aggregated, and analyzed by the companies behind the exercise apps on your smartphone and the devices you strap to your body. And that's a problem.

Just how big of a problem was brought into stark relief Monday, when a Twitter user pointed out that the Strava global heatmapan online, interactive map of activity by people who use the Strava mobile app or have a Fitbit or Jawboneinadvertently revealed the location of military bases overseas. To make matters worse, Wired reported it's also possible to take data publicly available via Strava's API and see the names of individuals tied to specific running routes.

This is obviously a concern for the armed services in fact, today the U.S. military announced it would revise its rules on the use of wearable devices. But what about for you? Assuming you are not deployed, and instead use your Fitbit to count the steps to and from your desk, do you really have anything to worry about?

The answer is most definitely yes.

The privacy red flags fall into two categories: the known and the speculative. The former are obvious, and present some troubling problems immediately. If your power-walking route is broadcast online without your knowledge, and is able to be tied to your real-world identity, it opens you up to a real-world version of the harassment many people are forced to confront online.

Suddenly, your attempt to simply lose a few pounds means stalkers or trolls can determine both your running routine and the location of your home. It also means a jilted ex who happened to remember your favorite cycling spots could track down your new home address.

This is recipe for disaster.

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