• News
  • Health Care

Pentagon Restricts Use of GPS-Enabled Fitness Trackers

Pentagon Restricts Use of GPS-Enabled Fitness Trackers

US servicemembers and other Defense Department personnel can no longer use fitness trackers or certain other geolocation devices and applications in parts of the world deemed operational areas, including warzones, Pentagon officials announced Monday.

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.

The Department of Defense has banned the use of any smartphone and applications that use geolocation services in operational areas.

The Pentagon said in January it was reviewing policies regarding such devices after it was revealed that Strava, a fitness tracking app that maps people's exercise habits, may have inadvertently revealed the locations of security forces around the world.

"We don't want to give the enemy any unfair advantage", US Army Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesperson, told reporters on Monday.

If a commander determines the risk is too great, the devices and apps themselves won't be prohibited, so long as the location-tracking features on them can be ― and are ― switched off. But it says the "geolocation capabilities" can present a "significant risk" to military personnel, so those functions must be turned off in certain operational areas. The map is not live, but shows a pattern of accumulated activity.

Observers noted that few local residents owned the devices and that the activity seen on the heat map allowed for the mapping of military bases and potentially even top secret sites.

The memo does say that Combatant Commanders, who oversee U.S. troops around the world, could authorize the use of the devices, but only after conducting "a threat-based comprehensive Operations Security survey".

Defense officials anxious that individuals could use the map to identify running routes around remote or classified USA military bases or in warzones, suggesting that soldiers' lives could be at risk.

This is the second memo affecting the use of electronic devices that the department has released in recent months.

The Strava controversy served as a wakeup call for senior Pentagon officials, at least one of whom admitted to wearing a location-tracking Fitbit all the time. It includes physical fitness aids, applications in phones that track locations, and other devices and apps that pinpoint and track the location of individuals. The Pentagon's response also comes after a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report to Congress calling for "enhanced assessments and guidance ... to address security risks in DoD" posed by internet of things devices.

Leave Your Comment

Leave Your Comment


Latest News

Breaking News



Recommended

Strong quake again hits Indonesia's Lombok island

Search and rescue teams have been working to access those in the worst-affected areas, close to the epicentre in northern Lombok. A field hospital has also been established near an evacuation centre catering to more than 500 people in the village of Tanjung.

NY moves to cap Uber, app-ride vehicles

A new report ordered by New York City regulators calls for a $17.22 minimum wage for ride-hail drivers. The legislation will now go before Mayor Bill de Blasio, also a Democrat, who is expected to sign it.

US senator seeks dialogue with Russian legislators

Congress ahead of midterm elections, and such visits can potentially influence negotiations over U.S. sanctions between U.S. If the Russian Federation accepts the invite, it would be their first trip to Capitol Hill in three years.

Prince Harry Kept Thanking Meghan Wedding Makeup Artist

Throughout Meghan's time in television, she hasn't won any awards and hasn't been nominated for an Emmy either. But Meghan's choice of dress was more than skin deep, the 46-year-old explained to ELLE .

Does this mean Kourtney Kardashian and Younes Bendjima have split?

Following two years of dating, Kardashian and Bendjima are no more . " Younes is young, and although mature for his age, he and Kourtney are at different stages in their lives".

Hurricane John weakens a little off Mexican coast

A turn toward the northeast is forecast by this afternoon, and that motion should continue into Thursday. Big Island officials are taking precautions in advance of the storm nearing the state.

Samuel L. Jackson Will Be Back For SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME

Now we know a couple of former S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are suiting up again to meet Spidey on the big screen for the first time. This news also means that 2019 will be an even bigger year than we thought for Jackson as Fury.

Alan Shearer And Ian Wright Make Their Premier League Predictions

The Premier League is yet to employ the VAR system which was employed during the World Cup in Russian Federation . He said: "It wasn't a unanimous decision to do it, so there's bound to be some dissent still around".

'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate' (Switch) Reveals New Characters, Stages, Modes And More

Among the announcements was that when the game launches on December 7, it will be available in a bundle called Super Smash Bros . When it comes to choosing music , the library you have available will be tied to the stage and the franchise it comes from.

Baby's body pulled from water near Brooklyn Bridge

He and police officers called to the scene gave the baby CPR until an ambulance arrived, NY media reported. The New York City Fire Department reportedly took the child to the hospital where the baby died.