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The U.S. military said Monday that it is reviewing its guidelines for the use of wireless devices at military facilities after revelations that popular fitness apps can be used to expose the locations and identities of individuals working in sensitive areas.

The review came after reports by The Washington Post and other outlets that a "heat map" had been posted online by the fitness-tracking company Strava showing where users jog, bike and exercise - and in the process inadvertently highlighting the locations of U.S. military facilities in some of the most dangerous spots in the world.

The concerns raised by the online map went beyond sensitive military sites, with evidence that Strava could help reveal the movements of international aid workers, intelligence operatives and millions of other people in many countries.

On Monday, the Defense Department launched a review to determine whether new policies are needed, said Army Col. Robert Manning III, a Pentagon spokesman. The review will be led by Essye B. Miller, the Pentagon's acting chief information officer.

Privacy experts noted that Strava is far from alone in collecting and marketing location data about its users and that such granular information about the movements of individuals could reveal where they live, work, shop and socialize.

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January 30, 2018


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