Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

Fitness tracker Polar gives away identities & locations of military, intelligence worldwide

Fitness tracker Polar gives away identities & locations of military, intelligence worldwide

The firm added that it had been aware that the potential existed for sensitive location data to appear in public information, saying that it had made a decision to temporarily suspend the Explore API, which allows users to share information about training sessions.

The case of the Finland-based company bears many similarities with that of fitness tracking app Strava, which involuntarily exposed the possible locations of many sensitive sites and military personnel on secret missions in combat zones.

Bellingcat's investigation found that the privacy settings used by 6,460 Polar users meant that they could be located through the activity they had shared from their fitness devices.

Fitness gadget company Polar offers a range of heart rate monitors, fitness trackers, and Global Positioning System sports watches.

The vulnerability that allowed virtually anyone to identify individuals working at top-secret locations, such as military bases overseas, by sifting through exercise regimens of people in that area, has been jointly reported by Bellingcat and the Netherlands' De Correspondent. A flaw in the app allowed reporters to gather their data, and the API didn't cap the number of requests that someone could make, thereby allowing them "to determine their home address, where people's workouts often begin and end".

In all, the investigation was able to identify almost 6,500 people across 69 countries at locations including NSA, the White House, MI6 and Guantanamo Bay. 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.

30 drunken seagulls baffle vets treating them at RSPCA centre
It added that brewery waste can also be used as compost and feed so narrowing down how the gull's are being affected has been hard .

Fitness company Polar was forced to suspend its activity map after it was used to unmask some 6,500 military and intelligence officers, including those at nuclear sites, in combat in Syria and stationed at the North Korean border.

However, the investigation claims that despite many users making their profiles private it was able to find user details due to "an oversight in the Polar app".

The individuals whose personal addresses were discovered included employees from the United States' National Security Agency, the UK's Government Communications Headquarters and MI6 as well as Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate or GRU.

It also stressed that the vast majority of its customers have been using the default private settings and will not have been impacted.

"It is important to understand that Polar has not leaked any data, and there has been no breach of private data", the company said in a statement.

Like this: