Too Much Information

Do you wear a Fitbit?

If you do, satellites may be watching you.

Yesterday, Strava, a social network that collects data from devices with GPS, uploaded a heat map of its users around the world to the internet. Intelligence services are now combing that map for data about hidden military bases and other tidbits. It’s apparently not just fitbits, but mobile phones and a lot of other devices.

The Guardian gives a few examples. Here are a few more.

This is Britain’s GCHQ, the equivalent of the US’s NSA.

Adam Rawnsley and Tobias Schneider are particularly active in locating sites, but you can find more if you search Strava heat map on Twitter.


Cross-posted to Nuclear Diner.


126 replies
  1. 1

    […] Cross-posted at Balloon Juice. […]

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    I have nothing to hide.

  3. 3
    aimai says:

    I love the line “deployed joggers.”

  4. 4
    Roger Moore says:

    Shorter: even anonymized data can spoil your op-sec, so turn of sharing.

  5. 5
    Schlemazel says:

    For years google and Apple have allowed you to see a track of everywhere you have been over any given period of time. I’d have to look up how you get that but my assumption has always been that if they know any sufficiently advanced government or individual can know also. Privacy is a thing of the past now.

  6. 6
    Mnemosyne says:

    Isn’t Strava primarily a bicycling app, or is there more than one company with the same name doing fitness tracking?

  7. 7
    Corner Stone says:

    How the hell many fitbits have been sold in the world? According to the linked Wiki on Strava:

    As of March 2015, there were an estimated 1 million active users and around 200,000 premium users

    All this data from 1M people?

  8. 8

    According to the Wikipedia article linked in the top post, it looks like Strava tracks anything with GPS capability.

  9. 9

    @aimai: I was just gonna comment that!

    @Schlemazel: yep, your phone follows you everywhere you go. Not much way around it except not having it with you.

  10. 10
    Schlemazel says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    YOu can always turn on the “don’t track me” option in which case they a will not tell _you_ where you have been.

  11. 11

    @Cheryl Rofer: I see it saying that they can track users on many different devices, where does it say they can track anything that has GPS ability?

  12. 12
    Quinerly says:

    @Baud: Neither does Poco 2020! Campaigning hard in Santa Fe, NM.🐾

  13. 13
    lollipopguild says:

    @Baud: Is President-in-waiting Baud letting it all hang out?

  14. 14
    Corner Stone says:

    Saw this on Malcolm Nance’s twit feed:

    Ben Taub‏Verified account @bentaub91

    Secret military base near Arlit, Niger, revealed as a white dot in a sea of black, because Western soldiers didn’t turn off their Fitbits.

  15. 15
    WaterGirl says:

    @Schlemazel: How do you get to the do not track me option on an iPhone?

  16. 16

    @Major Major Major Major: I inferred that, could be wrong.

  17. 17
    Uncle Omar says:

    Glad I’m still stuck in the 20th century.

  18. 18
    different-church-lady says:


  19. 19
    Schlemazel says:

    Sorry, I am a droid so I am not sure. Here is a web site that says it is not easy to do.

    When the Mrs. finally got a smartphone I begged her to go with Android so I could help when needed. She got the iPhone & I remind her of that conversation every time she asks me “How do I get X on this phone?”

    BTW – don’t think for a minute that turning these things off means the devices and some number of apps on it means some outfit is not keeping track of your movements. Android or Apple, does not matter. It is already too late.

  20. 20
    efgoldman says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Not much way around it except not having it with you.

    How about physically turning it off? That’s what we old farts, who actually use our phones to make calls, do.

  21. 21
    different-church-lady says:

    THINGS MODERN PHONES CAN DO: Allow your enemies to track you from space.

    THINGS MODERN PHONES CAN’T DO: Allow you to make audible phone calls.

  22. 22
    Kirk says:

    @efgoldman: So truly, “Don’t call me I’ll call you?”

  23. 23

    More from the Washington Post.

    At a site in northern Syria near a dam, where analysts have suspected the U.S. military is building a base, the map shows a small blob of activity accompanied by an intense line along the nearby dam, suggesting the personnel at the site jog regularly along the dam, Schneider said.

    “This is a clear security threat,” he said. “You can see a pattern of life. You can see where a person who lives on a compound runs down a street to exercise. In one of the U.S. bases at Tanf you can see people running round in circles.”

  24. 24
    Schlemazel says:

    That works for now . . . I think

  25. 25
    Corner Stone says:

    @Schlemazel: And if you do somehow manage to turn off a “feature” you do not want, sometimes when you check back after a while you will discover it’s back on again.

  26. 26
    Another Scott says:

    @efgoldman: Lots of phones supposedly aren’t really fully off unless you remove the battery. Or at least can be turned on without your knowledge.

    Wrapping them in aluminum foil or a similar “Faraday cage” would work though…


  27. 27
    Mel says:


    This is how it works o my iPhone, but it’s an older one (5s).

    Open “Settings”.
    Select the “Privacy” option.
    Then, select “Location Services”.

    You can then toggle on or toggle off the tracking for certain functions.

    There is an option to turn off all Location Services functions at once, but that will prevent you from being able to use features like “find my iPhone“.

    Hope that is helpful!

  28. 28
    Corner Stone says:

    @efgoldman: IIRC, there is no way to actually completely “turn off” an iPhone. That would require taking out the battery, which you can’t do easily.

  29. 29

  30. 30
    MattF says:

    There’s a ton of data about you, specifically– all in the ‘cloud’. It’s all being sifted, tracked, compared, correlated, and monetized. And, btw, a large part of Amazon’s business is commercial provision of ‘web services’.

  31. 31
    MattF says:

    @Corner Stone: Right. If you can press a button to turn it on, you can’t turn it off.

  32. 32
    B.B.A. says:

    @efgoldman: Most phones these days still keep some “background services” running even when they appear to be turned off.

  33. 33
    John Revolta says:

    @efgoldman: @Schlemazel: Ahahahaha.

    Listen, don’t worry about your phones. Your CAR keeps pretty good tabs on you nowadays.

  34. 34
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mel: Thank you! I had most everything turned off, but found a few apps that were always on. I also turned on something that can tell me whenever my location is being requested by an app.

  35. 35
    Magda in Black says:

    I’ve pretty much concluded “they” know everything there is to know about me…and that most of it is laughable at best and embarassing at worst. I hope.

  36. 36
    Schlemazel says:

    @Corner Stone:
    YES! I have seen this particularly with a couple of apps I have loaded but only use infrequently.

  37. 37
    tychay says:

    @Mnemosyne: you are correct, but they added running a couple years back and in the last year the running feature has gotten very popular on my social network. The reason this is the case is Strava haas built a far
    More active community than previous places
    Like MapMyFitness.

    The reason this is news is unlike them, Strava provides publicly available heatmaps. Makes you wonder what is sitting on goggle or apples servers…

  38. 38


    a large part of Amazon’s business is commercial provision of ‘web services’.

    I have it on very good authority that Amazon doesn’t spy on AWS machines.

  39. 39
    MattF says:

    @Major Major Major Major: My point, fwiw, is that there are a lot of companies out there who are trying to monetize your data. Amazon is definitely one of them, and has the added revenue stream of providing these capabilities to other companies. That’s bad enough.

  40. 40
    patrick II says:

    Beginning in 2019, the FCC will require strict standards for equipment provided by cell phone carriers to provide more precise locations. The ostensible reason is so that 911 callers may be more exactly found. Actually, that’s a good reason, but that’s not all it will be used for.

  41. 41
    Schlemazel says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    please define “spy”

    BTW – does everyone know that when they send their little spit-wad into 23AndMe or etc. that the license agreement gives them ownership of your DNA? They can do whatever they chose with it. Of course they say they will only ever use your data as part of aggregated & anonymous groupings. But, as with these sorts things once it is stored anywhere in a computer ic can become knowledge that others can aquire.

  42. 42
    J R in WV says:

    I’m pretty sure my Android phone isn’t drawing any power when it’s turned off. It stays a nearly the same % battery for a very long time. I lost my phone for a while, it was in a knapsack pocket and I didn’t find it until I used the pack again. It was still well charged up after 6 weeks in the dark.

    I WILL wrap it in a Faraday cage if needed! But I think it’s really off when I turn it off, just enough power to keep it listening for a power up command. Which isn’t much at all.

  43. 43
    Schlemazel says:

    @patrick II:
    These things are always double-edged swords. There are a ton of very good uses for a smartphone. EVery new innovation has benefits and costs and nobody ever really knows all of each until they are ingrained into our lives.

  44. 44
    Mel says:

    @WaterGirl: You’re welcome!

  45. 45


    please define “spy”

    In any way observe the information on an EC2 instance, or private S3 bucket, etc. without the affirmative permission of the people using the servers.

  46. 46
    Ruckus says:

    Your phone can not stop tracking it’s location. If it did it couldn’t find you to ring your phone or know if you moved from one tower to the next. 15 yrs ago I went to NZ and my phone worked perfectly, although making an international call required that I let my provider know that I needed that service. I don’t believe you need to do that any more. You have a cell phone and it’s turned on, at the very least, one cell provider knows where you are.

  47. 47
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    In Southeast Asia this month, I operated solely on airplane mode and used WiFi in hotels and airports. When out, there were no signals that should have been exchanging.

    In Vietnam and Cambodia, looking at my phone, the locations of the photos drilled down to an amazing degree, even though not connected. Villages outside Hoi An and Saigon are reflected. In Cambodia, I get differentiation between Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm.

    The only place that this did not happen was in Laos, which read everything as Luang Prabang.

    Same thing happened in China last year.

    It was a little spooky, to be honest.

  48. 48
    Ruckus says:

    This being a good thing depends upon your point of view, an owner or an owned.

  49. 49

    @Ruckus: Well, tracking your constant pings of cell towers is different from tracking your actual GPS data, they’re two different streams.

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: They can ascertain your location fairly well by knowing only what wifi networks are near your device, since many of the networks have known locations and they can triangulate by strength.

  50. 50
    raven says:

    Don’t have a watch
    Don’t have a cell phone
    Don’t use Amazon
    Don’t watch TV
    Don’t watch sports
    Don’t read the Times
    Don’t listen to NPR
    Don’t BUG me!

  51. 51
    different-church-lady says:

    Can we get 3000 joggers to run around city blocks in a pattern that spells “STRAVA SUCKS”?

  52. 52
    Schlemazel says:

    The tracking is supposed to stop then from cataloging that information. I assume that still leaves them a lot of leeway for gathering the info that makes it available to lots of people, some of whom they might even know about.

  53. 53
    different-church-lady says:

    @Magda in Black: I’ve always said the FBI agent assigned to read my e-mail must be the most bored mofo on the planet.

  54. 54
    Schlemazel says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    how about the information going into and out of their servers?

  55. 55
    Ruckus says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
    If your phone is turned on and looking for a cell tower and finds one, it will know where you are and that tower will know that phone is on line. That is it’s function as a cell phone. And in many places where running copper/optical cable would be horribly expensive, cell phones work wonderfully. How many places in the world did not have common landline service even 10 yrs ago and still don’t to this day? Far more than have it I’d bet.

  56. 56
    Schlemazel says:

    They have AI that is capable of sifting through the flotsam and identify the gems for human review.

  57. 57
    different-church-lady says:


    …the license agreement gives them ownership of your DNA?

    They’re going to lose on the deal.

  58. 58
    Ruckus says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    True but your location is not that far off if you have a tower signal, they are line of sight. And how many people do you think have turned off tracking? 5%? I’d be amazed if it’s higher than that.

  59. 59
    different-church-lady says:


    EVery new innovation has benefits and costs and nobody ever really knows all of each until they are ingrained into our lives.

    Which is why I hate people who tout self-driving cars.

  60. 60
    efgoldman says:

    @Kirk: Basically, we use it for 911, AAA, and the occasional “should I pick up…” call from the store.

  61. 61
    Ruckus says:

    I’d say that’s a pretty good assumption.

  62. 62

    @Schlemazel: That’s basically just data on the open Internet, as interceptable as any other traffic.

  63. 63
    Schlemazel says:

    Here is another BTW. The USPS offers a service that will email you photos of every piece of mail delivered to your home the morning it is sent out for delivery. I’m sure for some people this could be a useful app. I imagine that they can also use that information to demonstrate penetration for mail vendors and a lot of other things

  64. 64
    aimai says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Running around in circles? The jokes just write themselves.

  65. 65
    different-church-lady says:

    @Schlemazel: You’re the worst straight-man ever.

  66. 66
    efgoldman says:

    @J R in WV:

    I think it’s really off when I turn it off, just enough power to keep it listening for a power up command.

    Are the date/time functions internal or external?

  67. 67
    different-church-lady says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    private S3 bucket

    If I ever change my alias, that’s going to be it.

  68. 68
    Jeffro says:

    @raven: I’m pretty sure that list could be set to the tune of “Splendid Isolation” without too much effort (and the same effect) =)

  69. 69
    Ruckus says:

    @J R in WV:
    My android phone runs it’s battery down a lot slower when it’s off as well but it does go down. I doubt it would last 6 weeks but then I’ve never left it off for that long. Normal usage the battery loses charge every 2 to 4 days. Depends if I actually use it as a smartphone, ie data. If I only use it as a phone it can last for a week.
    BTW T-Mobile has a new neat feature that allows you to block phone numbers. Works far better than the do not call site, which of course doesn’t work at all. However it still allows the caller to leave a voicemail. So good but not great.

  70. 70
    Anonymous At Work says:

    Um…how much of this could be false data designed to confound NSA or Western intelligence services or anyone that has a backdoor into Fitbit’s systems?

  71. 71
    raven says:

    @Jeffro: He’d a fit right in!

  72. 72
    Chet Murthy says:

    @different-church-lady: At least a few times in the recent past, a company has changed their privacy policy to allow them to sell already-collected data for profit. In the case of DNA information, the obvious play is to sell it to insurers. This play has been written-about in mainstream newspapers (FNYT? I forget which) for quite a while now.

    In short: if you want to prevent insurers from discriminating against you for picking the wrong parents (and gametes) never get a DNA test.

  73. 73
    WaterGirl says:

    @raven: So raven, did you end uo with a relapse after you were starting to feel better? Asking for a friend. (or possibly myself, because I think it may be happening to me.)

  74. 74
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Schlemazel: Source on that Ancestry and 23 and Me claim? Because the professionals in the community have been pushing back on the hysterical clickbait for a while now.

  75. 75
    raven says:

    @WaterGirl: Yep, I’ve never slept more than I have this weekend. Wake up, get pissed off by dopey threads, go back to sleep. Rinse, repeat.

  76. 76
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Anonymous At Work: any data that shows me jogging is fake

  77. 77
    Ruckus says:

    Even if the clock/date setting is network, the phone keeps time so that it can show when you don’t have a signal. So I’d have to answer both.
    Now depending on how old that cell phone is might just make a big difference in how or if shutting it off truly does. I’d bet none of the latest phones or operating systems really never shut off. My old Blueberry battery would last a very long time if it was shut off. Would last a couple of weeks when on. But then it had a screen the size of a large postage stamp so it was pretty useless as a smartphone.

  78. 78
    Big R says:

    @Baud: I have nothing to show.

  79. 79
    No Drought No More says:

    Makes me wonder if all those peeping Toms can discern the delineation of my middle finger when looking my way. I like to think they can..

  80. 80
    Ruckus says:

    Speaking of too much information, I just got an email from TwitterNotifications, whatever the hell that is, that I have 4 messages.
    I Don’t Have A Twitter Account.
    I’m thinking spam and so was my email program.

  81. 81
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Chet Murthy:

    In the case of DNA information, the obvious play is to sell it to insurers. This play has been written-about in mainstream newspapers (FNYT? I forget which) for quite a while now.

    No chain of custody and limited SNPs tested. If any insurer wants your DNA, they can get it from the blood that’s drawn for your annual checkup and check exactly what they’re looking for.

  82. 82
    different-church-lady says:

    @Ruckus: Phishing.

  83. 83
    MattF says:

    @Ruckus: Have you ever had a Twitter account? Inactive accounts can be hijacked.

  84. 84
    Baud says:

    BTW, this security breach would be a MAJOR scandal if the president were a Dem.

  85. 85
  86. 86
    efgoldman says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    or a normal republican.

    These ARE “normal ” Republiklowns.
    They’re just sociopaths in the general spectrum of human behavior.

  87. 87
    WaterGirl says:

    @raven: At least you’re able to sleep!

  88. 88
    Schlemazel says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:
    here is a starting place

    Though I don’t think they are willing to speculate about where this all could lead or understand that by simply storing your data it is available for theft & how that might be useful

  89. 89

  90. 90
    Magda in Black says:

    Exactly 😐

  91. 91
  92. 92
    Suzanne says:

    @Magda in Black:

    I’ve pretty much concluded “they” know everything there is to know about me…and that most of it is laughable at best and embarassing at worst.

    I hope they enjoy my Crate & Barrel coupons.

  93. 93
    Mike J says:

    Once I was working on a contract and there was another American there, and he was also based in DC. We were talking about precious gigs, and he mentioned one where they didn’t tell him the name until after he was there and told him to never mention it. He mentioned a landmark or two nearby and I said, “oh, you were at the NRO?” A couple of years after they opened they finally put up a sign saying what it was, but it was one of those things everybody who cared already knew. I checked the Strava maps and there appear to be a couple of users there. Which is ironic because I used to ride my mt bike on the site until they built that building.

    On 9/11 it was sort of funny. I was taking the back rode to get home because traffic was a mess, and they had blocked off the entrances to it with cop cars. It’s on final approach to Dulles 1R where huge jets are usually at 2000′, and they were protecting it from attack with cars.

    I have many other problems with fitbits besides data leakage. There is no way to get your data and evaluate it yourself without first sending it to them, and if you want detailed information off your own device, you have to pay them extra to get more, but still not all, of it. It’s a privacy nightmare from start to finish.

  94. 94
    rikyrah says:

    Is Dolt45 a good role model for children?

    69% No

    99% No

    71% No

    22% No😒😒😒

  95. 95
    Baud says:


    99% No

    Jesus H. Christ, do you have any idea how hard that level of unity is to achieve?!

  96. 96


  97. 97
    John Revolta says:

    OT: Y’know that old saw about “Insanity= doing the same thing & expecting different results”? Yeah, well it’s time to rewrite that sucker because I do that ALL THE TIME with my computer and it works just fine. Just had it work with my old printer as well- had to turn it off & on quite a few times and then leave it alone to think about whether or not it wanted me to take it apart, and lo and behold. New times require new truths.

  98. 98
    scav says:

    @rikyrah: Ah that strong eeeevangelical support is once again demonstrating its essential core moral values.

  99. 99
    T S says:

    @raven: The ‘no watch’ part is the only one that seems mostly detrimental to one’s life.

  100. 100
    J R in WV says:

    @efgoldman: \

    Date/time is internal, until you change a time zone. You can have it set to change when you change location from the network, or to require you to change your time zone manually, your choice.

  101. 101
    efgoldman says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    non-Trump, i meant.

    Hmm, let’s see….
    Take away health insurance for millions of people. Check
    Freely and gleefully deport people? Check
    Gum up even the simplest jobs of congress, spending and the budget? Check
    Lie to your constituents constantly? Check.
    Keep fucking (so to speak) with women’s rights. Check
    But wait, there’s more…..

    Sure looks like the “normal” Republiklowns are sociopaths

  102. 102
    WaterGirl says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Your privacy is very important to us. Oh yeah, sorry about giving away all the military secrets. Oh wait, no we’re not, we didn’t even acknowledge that.

  103. 103

    @efgoldman: if it were Jeb Bush, this would be a big scandal.

  104. 104
    Mike J says:

    Literary recommendation: Nick Harkaway’s new book, Gnomon, is SF and has to do with data privacy. Here’s a clip from the first chapter:

    To make it worse, I have erected analogue communications devices – wires strung taut across narrow alleys with cups at either end; pigeon coops; listening tubes. I have embraced the process of divestment to such an extent that in fact there are no modern machines at all in my house. No touchscreen. No computer. Not even a washing machine. Sadly, washing machines these days are as wired as everything else. They are set up to tell you how to save money and water and electricity. More recently they started measuring water quality. Of course, they package those data anonymously and send them to the central hub for analysis. By doing that the System can manage water flow and know about any dangerous impurities before they jeopardise the public health. When my father was a child, he got blisters on his tongue from drinking water with aluminium in it – an error at a local water plant. That can’t happen now, and indeed there are biosensors in the pipes that pick up various waterborne infections and trigger alerts. But nothing is free: the reality is that anonymisation is no more effective than one of those hilarious nose-moustache-and-spectacle sets that are a staple of office parties. With the right parsing, your washing machine can know all sorts of things about you that are private. It can tell from your clothes whether you drink too much, whether you have eczema, whether you use drugs. Whether you are pregnant. A new model has come on the market with an olfactory sensor patterned on the nose of a particular breed of pig: it can tell whether you have an early stage cancer and refer you to a doctor. That is a little miraculous and wonderful, isn’t it? If only the information didn’t also automatically go to your local health trust so that they can manage their year-on-year needs more accurately. If only they didn’t market their needs list to health insurers. If only everything wasn’t quite so obsessively joined up.

  105. 105
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: Wow, I would have said 99% was impossible to achieve, about anything. Trump is the great uniter!

  106. 106
    FlyingToaster says:

    So Strava is aggregating fitness app tracking, whether it’s a dedicated device (e.g. FitBit) or a fitness app on a smartdevice. Hmmm. Glad I filled in fake data and told Location Services not to allow it, and Cellular not to allow it.

  107. 107

  108. 108
    Brachiator says:


    EVery new innovation has benefits and costs and nobody ever really knows all of each until they are ingrained into our lives.

    Which is why I hate people who tout self-driving cars.

    Hell, I hate the man or woman who invented the wheel. Civilization, bah! We got along nicely with scavenging.

  109. 109
    Corner Stone says:

    Bob Gates is another partisan hack POS. Great re-nom there again. Thanks, Obama.

  110. 110
    Brachiator says:


    Wow, I would have said 99% was impossible to achieve, about anything. Trump is the great uniter!

    He should be proud to have earned the highest “hate him” score ever!

  111. 111
    Baud says:

    BTW, regarding the post title, Sneakers was an awesome movie. Well ahead of its time.

  112. 112
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud: I always had a hard time believing Gandhi could hold a grudge that damn long.

  113. 113
    Brachiator says:

    99% No

    71% No

    22% No

    Wait a minute. Where are those people who insist that Independents are really Republicans who don’t want to fess up?

  114. 114
    Mike in DC says:

    My general assumption is that about 1/3 of self described indies vote R fairly consistently.

  115. 115
    Mary G says:

    LA peeps, tried to find a way to get to the meetup, but the housemates are all at a family birthday and/or working. Even the most liberal white people I know say they’re busy but have been in the Orange County bubble so long they are convinced that going to DTLA after dark on a weekend means that they’re going to be raped and murdered.
    I even practiced taking my transport chair out of the car by myself, figuring you could put it back in for me, but my ankle rolled on me and I wrenched my back , so now I’m in bed on muscle relaxers.

    I really wanted to see you all and meet lamh in person, but I have been reading her #LAVacay tweets, so I know she’s having fun. Wish her luck with the Will and Grace taping tomorrow!

  116. 116
    Schlemazel says:

    They are Republicans who don’t want to be associated with the tangerine tumor. They like their dog calls done by whistle, not megaphone.

  117. 117
    Brachiator says:

    OT. Ingvar Kamprad, founder if IKEA has died. I understand that he will be buried in a wooden casket. Some assembly required.

  118. 118
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Schlemazel: I figured it would go back to Joel Winston. Wonder why he’s not in a panic about blood draws at the doctor?

    Gotta admit that I wondered, when that article first appeared, if he was afraid some family secret would get out. That’s the biggest risk, honestly.

    Another lawyer’s viewpoint.

    ETA: BTW, you do realize that you give this blog a similar license over the words that you post here, yes? Can’t serve the page without it.

  119. 119
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mary G:

    Oh no! Sucky housemates are sucky. DTLA is seriously gentrified now, especially compared to when I first arrived.

    We found out in another thread that lamh apparently has godlike powers to call lightning down on our enemies, so maybe you could have first pick of who gets fried first. 😈⚡️

  120. 120
    Van Buren says:

    @raven: You forgot EZPass

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    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mike J: In a society that values people before profit, this would not be a problem.

    We do not live in that society; we live in its polar opposite.

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    oldster says:

    As far as I can tell, the Fitbit Alta HR does not have any GPS capability.

    So it tracks my steps and heartrate, but not a GPS location. The soldiers who are giving away info to Strava must be using a better model.

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    ProfDamatu says:

    @oldster: Same with the Charge 2, though that one can piggyback on your phone’s GPS (which requires that you have your phone on you).

    One aspect of this that I’m still mulling over – I’m a Strava user, and though it is true that Strava collects and crunches GPS data, those data are only from “activities” – basically, workouts. If you’ve got one of the fancy Fitbits that has native GPS capability, it would be Fitbit that would have the ability to track you throughout your day, not Strava. So…people are doing workouts all around these sensitive sites, and uploading them to Strava, apparently.

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    Origuy says:

    I have a Fitbit Surge, which does have GPS capability. It doesn’t record the GPS tracking unless you enable it, which uses a lot more battery. I think it does use GPS for determining things like steps and stair climbs, but doesn’t store the GPS. As ProfDamatu said, if you start a run or cycle activity, the GPS tracking is turned on. I don’t use Strava; I upload to orienteering specific sites.

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    DHD says:

    Hmm, I was under the impression that I had to actually opt into sharing my data with the global heatmap, and that my “privacy zones” were excluded… At least that’s the way the Strava interface works.

    I remember explicitly turning this on because I like using the heatmap to find ski and bike trails that are poorly marked and I wanted to return the favor.

    I can’t say I have a lot of sympathy for military personnel who have trouble following simple instructions like this. Isn’t that, like, what they teach you to do in the military?

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