Pentagon restricts use of location-logging fitness trackers

Pentagon restricts use of location-logging fitness trackers

Military troops and Defense Department personnel deployed to sensitive areas such as war zones will no longer be able to use fitness trackers and cellphone applications that pinpoint their location. But Defense Department leadership stopped short of instructing troops to leave their wearable devices at home.

Last Friday, an order went into effect, banning the use of location services on both personal and government issued devices used by service members of the USA military.

The new order will allow military leaders to decide if troops can use the Global Positioning System function on their devices, based on the security threat in that area or on that base.

In cases where these capabilities pose a "threat to personnel and operations", commanders and supervisors will provide OPSEC training and "apply a tiered structure for categorizing location and operations sensitivity while incorporating risk factors to ensure restrictions are consistently and rationally applied", the memo states.

The decision follows the discovery of a second fitness smartphone app, called Polar Flow, that allows users to share information about their running routes and related to their location - which can compromise safety and missions if users are located on military bases, intelligence agencies or other sensitive locations.

The U.S. military is prohibiting its deployed personnel from using geolocation features on smartphones, fitness trackers and other devices because they could create security risks by revealing their location, the Pentagon said on Monday. Within the U.S., the colorful web of lines was mostly just an interesting way of visualizing runners' data, but in Middle Eastern countries such as Afghanistan, the map showed much more.

More news: Najib pleads not guilty to money laundering
More news: Ola announces plans to enter United Kingdom taxi and private hire market
More news: Severe thunderstorm warning in effect for London

The Pentagon discovered a fitness tracking app may have accidentally revealed security force locations around the world.

A portion of the Strava Labs heat map from Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan, made by tracking activities.

Army Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said it's a move to ensure the enemy can't easily target USA forces.

The Pentagon immediately launched a review.

In other words, commanders may decide to restrict the use of geolocation capabilities on devices on areas of installations where "sensitive activities" are conducted, Harris said. That information can present enemies with information on military operations.

Related Articles

  • England’s Anderson escapes injury after being struck by golf ball

    England’s Anderson escapes injury after being struck by golf ball

    Anderson's duel with Indian skipper Virat Kohli was also on display during the ongoing Test series between India and England. Having won the first match at Edgbaston by 31 runs, England are now the 5-match Test series 1-0.
    The Live-Action Star Wars Show Will Reportedly Be Very Expensive

    The Live-Action Star Wars Show Will Reportedly Be Very Expensive

    Disney's movie studio enjoyed blockbuster success with " Avengers: Infinity War " and "The Incredibles 2 ". According to Bob Iger, Star Wars movies released before next year will not be on the new service.
    Mauling time high in the air

    Mauling time high in the air

    The Lions capitalised immediately, as Lions hooker Malcolm Marx squeezed past Test locks Sam Whitelock and Scott Barrett to score. Once again the Crusaders had a response, though, and Barrett's try 10 minutes from time finally secured the result and the title.
  • Christopher Collins indicted on insider trading charges

    Christopher Collins indicted on insider trading charges

    All three men surrounded to authorities in Manhattan on Wednesday morning. We are confident he will be completely vindicated and exonerated.
    Student poses with giant gator for graduation photo

    Student poses with giant gator for graduation photo

    Noland wore her school colors, Texas A&M sash and graduation cap for the shoot, which took place in the middle of Big Tex's swamp. In one photo, the daring undergraduate is shown putting her graduating class ring on the giant reptile's nose.
    Michelle Obama and Joe Biden Wrote Incredibly Sweet Birthday Messages to Barack

    Michelle Obama and Joe Biden Wrote Incredibly Sweet Birthday Messages to Barack

    August 4 marks former President Barack Obama's 57th birthday and Illinois' first annual Barack Obama Day. Moving forward, August 4, the former president's birthday, will be celebrated as " Barack Obama Day".
  • Benintendi's walk-off seals Red Sox sweep

    Benintendi's walk-off seals Red Sox sweep

    The Red Sox won for the eighth time in nine games and finished the series 9-1/2 games ahead of the Yankees in the AL East. In June, Belichick canceled a practice and instead held a team bonding experience at Fenway Park .
    New planet with strong aurora discovered 20 light years from Earth

    New planet with strong aurora discovered 20 light years from Earth

    The "rogue" object is not attached to any star, and is the first of its kind to be discovered using a radio telescope from Earth. The difference between what constitutes gas giants and brown dwarfs is a matter of serious debate among astronomers, says NRAO.
    Manchester City goalkeeper Hart signs for Burnley

    Manchester City goalkeeper Hart signs for Burnley

    England goalkeeper JoeHart made 348 appearances for City and won two Premier League titles with the club. Burnley's other England keeper Heaton is still not fully fit as he recovers from a calf injury.
  • Brexit deal chances are

    Brexit deal chances are "60 to 40"; Liam Fox blames EC intransigence

    The benchmark FTSE 100 was down 17 points or 0.22 percent at 7,642 in late opening deals after rallying 1.1 percent on Friday. Fox told the paper that he had not thought the likelihood of no-deal was higher than 50-50, but the risk had increased.
    Heat warning in effect for the Kawarthas until Tuesday

    Heat warning in effect for the Kawarthas until Tuesday

    Environment Canada has issued heat warnings for much of southern Ontario, set to begin on Sunday. It says never leave any person or pet inside a closed vehicle, for any length of time.
    Lombok quake: Facebook 'regrets' natural disaster  balloons

    Lombok quake: Facebook 'regrets' natural disaster balloons

    Ms Nadia Revanale, 23, was shopping in a minimart in Pemenang at the time of the tremor, the second to rock the island in a week. They used hacksaws to cut a square into concrete wall. "We saw everybody leaving in boats but no boat came to us", he told AFP .