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Strava Fitness App and Global Security

GCSP’s expert on Global Risk and Resilience, Dr Jean-Marc Rickli was interviewed on Al Jazeera Newshour last week. He is questioned on the security implications of the release of the Strava Global Heatmap on 28 January.

Al-Jazeera’s broadcaster sheds light on ‘innocent civilian technology having military implications.’ The Strava  fitness tracking device, which says it has 27 million users globally using its fitness devices, basically discloses military bases and secret military positions worldwide. 

Dr Rickli says, ‘What people need to understand, is that the data generated on a daily basis is not neutral. Data used for daily activities can be mapped to track where you are and infer some pattern based on this data. This (Strava) is just an example, but in the future we should definitely be careful. As the Internet of Things grows, more data will be generated, which poses security problems.’ He continues, ‘This creates huge problems because if you can cross-reference this information with data leaks… then you can identify potential individuals that are in secret services which can expose covert operations.

>> Full Interview