Fitness trackers give away troop locations

Learn a little more...with a link!

Website: Common Sense Media, Reviews, Health and Fitness Apps  | Find a new app to help you get fit.

Website Article: Wearable, How It Works: ​We Explain How Your Fitness Tracker Measures Your Daily Steps | How does the tracker know you’re taking those steps?

Website Article: Web MD, Fitness Trackers for Pets | Maybe NewsCat would like one of these.

Read the script:

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE AN OLYMPIAN TO KEEP UP A HEALTHY LIFE STYLE WITH EXERCISE. FOR FOLKS WHO ARE BIG INTO TRACKING THEIR EXERCISE – A FIT BIT OR WEARABLE FITNESS TRACKER – CAN HELP WITH THAT TOO.

TO FIGURE OUT JUST HOW FAR YOU’VE WALKED, A LOT OF THESE DEVICES RELY ON GEOTRACKING. GEOTRACKING IS A WAY OF FIGURING OUT WHERE SOMEONE IS AT BASED ON GPS DATA IN THEIR DEVICES – LIKE A FITNESS TRACKER OR YOUR SMARTPHONE OR EVEN YOUR CAR.

THIS CAN SEEM LIKE VERY HELPFUL TECHNOLOGY, BUT AS ONE GRADUATE STUDENT DISCOVERED IT CAN ALSO REVEAL YOUR LOCATION IN A WAY THAT MIGHT BE HARMFUL.

BRIAN TODD HAS THE STORY.

--REPORTER PKG-AS FOLLOWS--

THEY TRACK OUR STEPS... THE CALORIES WE BURN... AND MONITOR OUR SLEEP.

FIT-BITS AND OTHER FITNESS-TRACKING DEVICES HAVE REVOLUTIONIZED HOW AMERICANS MEASURE THEIR EXERCISE.

BUT (TONIGHT), THE PENTAGON IS CONCERNED ABOUT HOW AMERICAN TROOPS' USE OF THESE DEVICES-- COULD BE SHARING THAT INFORMATION WITH THEIR ENEMIES.

Michael Pregent/The Hudson Institute:

"If you're using this in the middle of nowhere- it can give the enemy a signature - that you're not supposed to be there. It can tell the enemy where you're operating."

A GLOBAL HEAT MAP, TRACING MOVEMENTS FROM WORKOUTS -- HAS BEEN POSTED BY A COMPANY CALLED STRAVA -- A SOCIAL NETWORK THAT ALLOWS USERS TO SHARE THEIR RUNNING ROUTES AND OTHER MOVEMENTS.

YOUR RUNNING OR BIKING ROUTE IS LINKED TO G-P-S -- WHICH MAPS THE WORKOUTS.

BUT THE HEAT MAP IS ALSO LIGHTING UP THE LOCATIONS OF U-S SOLDIERS-- WEARING DEVICES LIKE FIT-BITS, AND WORKING OUT AT MILITARY BASES ALL OVER THE WORLD, INCLUDING IN COMBAT ZONES...

nats

MAKING THOSE SERVICE-MEMBERS MORE EASILY TRACKABLE FOR THEIR ENEMIES.

Michael Pregent/The Hudson Institute:

"Look at the level of activity along this strip, along this route. As an enemy, I would focus every mortar attack, every rocket attack, in this area right here, just based on that graphic."

IN HEAVILY-POPULATED AREAS LIKE NEW YORK OR LOS ANGELES -- A LOT OF WORKOUT LOCATION POSTINGS DON'T STAND OUT.

BUT AT MILITARY BASES IN REMOTE AREAS OF PLACES LIKE AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ AND AFRICA -- THAT ACTIVITY STANDS OUT LIKE A SORE THUMB... AND IT DOESN'T TELL AN ENEMY JUST WHERE A SOLDIER HAPPENS TO BE JOGGING.

EXPERTS SAY SOLDIERS LEAVE THEIR DEVICES ON WHEN THEY DO OTHER THINGS.

Tobias Schneider/Global Public Policy Institute:

"It allows us to sort of see a pattern of life develop. So we can trace, you know, how do people live, where do they eat, where do they sleep, how do they move throughout the day, and also, where do they exercise."

USING THE HEAT-MAP, TWITTER-USERS HAVE FLAGGED LOCATIONS OF WHAT THEY BELIEVE ARE A C-I-A BASE IN SOMALIA... A PATRIOT MISSILE SITE IN YEMEN.. AND U-S SPECIAL-OPERATIONS BASES IN AREAS OF AFRICA, KNOWN AS MILITANT HOT SPOTS.

CNN HASN'T VERIFIED THOSE CLAIMS.

THE STRAVA HEAT MAP IS NOT LIVE.

IT SHOWS ACTIVITY ACCUMULATED BETWEEN 2009 AND NOVEMBER OF 2017, WHEN THE MAP WAS UPDATED ON THE STRAVA APP.

STILL, SECURITY EXPERTS SAY THE HEAT MAP SHOWS PATTERNS THAT ARE RECENT ENOUGH, TO GIVE AWAY SENSITIVE INFORMATION.

Tobias Schneider/Global Public Policy Institute:

"We can see when the soldiers leave their Fitbits on and they leave their base. We can make out patrol patterns. You can make out supply lines. And those are, you know, potential targets for insurgents."

 

Support Provided By