January 29, 2018

The Strava Heat Map and the End of Secrets

Featuring Paul Scharre

Source: Wired

Journalist Raphye Alexius

A MODERN EQUIVALENT of the World War II era warning that “loose lips sink ships” may be “FFS don’t share your Fitbit data on duty.” Over the weekend, researchers and journalists raised the alarm about how anyone can identify secretive military bases and patrol routes based on public data shared by a “social network for athletes” called Strava.

This past November, the San Francisco-based Strava announced a huge update to its global heat map of user activity that displays 1 billion activities—including running and cycling routes—undertaken by exercise enthusiasts wearing Fitbits or other wearable fitness trackers. Some Strava users appear to work for certain militaries or various intelligence agencies, given that knowledgeable security experts quickly connected the dots between user activity and the known bases or locations of US military or intelligence operations. Certain analysts have suggested the data could reveal individual Strava users by name.

Read the full article here.

  • Paul Scharre

    Senior Fellow and Director, Technology and National Security Program

    Paul Scharre is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. He is author of Army of None: Autonomou...