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Fitness apps and devices will no longer be allowed at certain military installations

By Cal Jeffrey
Aug 7, 2018
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  1. Some military personnel are no longer allowed to wear fitness trackers. We can’t reasonably say that we didn’t see this coming. The fact that these devices pose a security risk has been pointed out on at least two separate occasions — first in January, then again in July. The Pentagon started looking into it shortly after Strava published a heat map showing where users were exercising, including on military bases at home and abroad.

    According to a memo obtained by the Associated Press, the Pentagon is restricting the use of fitness tracking devices and apps at sensitive bases and some “high-risk warzone areas.” The Department of Defense has gotten wise to the implications of these devices providing valuable intel to enemy agents.

    “These geolocation capabilities can expose personal information, locations, routines, and numbers of DOD personnel, and potentially create unintended security consequences and increased risk to the joint force and mission,” said the memo.

    The Pentagon stopped short of an outright ban of fitness trackers and related apps. Military personnel will still be able to use them at their commander's discretion. Troops at stateside bases will be less affected by the change than those stationed in places like Syria or Iraq. However, the rule may also apply to military installations in the US if the commander deems it necessary for base security.

    “It goes back to making sure that we’re not giving the enemy an unfair advantage and we’re not showcasing the exact locations of our troops worldwide,” said Army Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman.

    The new restrictions apply to the GPS functions on fitness trackers, phones, tablets, smartwatches, and other applications. The Pentagon also said it would be providing additional cybersecurity training to personnel as it pertains to such devices an apps.

    Lead Image via Fort Carson Mountaineer

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,448   +2,902

    Yeah, you could see that one coming but frankly, why do military people need a watch to tell them if they are fit or not? A simple PT test will demonstrate that pretty quickly .....
     
  3. Nima304

    Nima304 TS Evangelist Posts: 375   +110

    That's true, but not what these are used for. If you want to stay in shape, and want to ensure you run, say, 6 miles a day, a fitness tracker is a good tool to measure how far you've run and view historical data about your fitness activities.
     

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