After Strava Labs revealed the sensitive data of US military operations, another fitness app has also been found to leak the exercise locations of soldiers and government agents. The activity tracker is called Polar. Using the fitness app, a Dutch newspaper was able to find out the exact movements and locations of US Secret Services officers, various NSA Agents, British MI6 and a host of international secretive agencies.
The information was collected by a correspondent who worked with an online journal and was able to use Polar’s “Polar Flow” site to find the secret information. Polar’s online maps allow the users to post public records of their exercise. They offer much more information in great detail. It also had an option to monitor the activity and individual’s work routine since 2014.
Foeke Postma said, “Polar is not only revealing the heart rates, routes, dates, time, duration, and pace of exercises carried out by individuals at military sites, but also revealing the same information from what are likely their homes as well. Tracing all of this information is very simple through the site: find a military base, select an exercise published there to identify the attached profile, and see where else this person has exercised. As people tend to turn their fitness trackers on/off when leaving or entering their homes, they unwittingly mark their houses on the map. Users often use their full names in their profiles, accompanied by a profile picture — even if they did not connect their Facebook profile to their Polar account.”
Researchers came across military officials of all types including those who deal with the nuclear weapons. It examined 200 sensitive locations. The investigative efforts found that nearly 6460 individuals across 69 nationalities were sharing their information on the Polar Flow. Polar has accepted the partial responsibility for the situation. The app said in a statement, “the decision to opt-in and share training sessions and GPS location data is the choice and responsibility of the customer, we are aware that potentially sensitive locations are appearing in public data, and have made the decision to temporarily suspend the Explore API”.