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Thread: The downside of Strava

  1. #1
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    Default The downside of Strava

    U.S. soldiers are revealing dangerous information by jogging
    http://wapo.st/2nlhXed

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    Quote Originally Posted by cvcalhoun View Post
    U.S. soldiers are revealing dangerous information by jogging
    http://wapo.st/2nlhXed
    Who smuggled a fitbit into North Korea and who in NK is allowed to access Strava?

    https://labs.strava.com/heatmap/#12.....03855/hot/all

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    Can say from personal experience that special forces folks (and the military writ large) are shockingly bad at this type of opsec. “What do you mean I can’t wear my smart watch in the SCIF?!?”

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    Can say from personal experience that special forces folks (and the military writ large) are shockingly bad at this type of opsec
    From the article: "the Pentagon has encouraged the use of Fitbits among military personnel and in 2013 distributed 2,500 of them as part of a pilot program to battle obesity."

    Brilliant, especially since IIUC Fitbit can only work by sending data to Fitbit servers. (While not easy, at least it appears possible to use Garmin fitness trackers and only collect data locally.)

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    So the even more fun thing is that you can create a GPX file of a fake activity at one of these areas of interest and then use that to grab a whole bunch of flyby information about individual users, what routes they traveled and when.


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    Well I did ask our RSO (Regional Security Officer) in Kyiv if there was any issue with me using Strava, especially when riding withe Ambassador.

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    Quote Originally Posted by consularrider View Post
    Well I did ask our RSO (Regional Security Officer) in Kyiv if there was any issue with me using Strava, especially when riding withe Ambassador.
    And the answer was...?

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    Interestingly -- and maybe relatedly -- Strava just made some drastic privacy changes to their APIs. It is pissing off a lot of people, but basically you can no longer get (via API, anyway) things like athlete IDs on segment leaderboards, related activities, or list rides for friends of authenticated athletes. Essentially the Strava API tokens will really only return information for the authorized user now with sometimes vague (firstname + last intial) references to other strava users (but I believe even then only on segment leaderboards).

    Kinda throws a wrench into our thoughts of using "related-activities" for scoring (since that information disappeared), but it is a little surprising that this is all still available on their website and in the APIs they use for their apps (it used to be that the features and limitations in their apps matched their published API capabilities).

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    I've always had a gripe with the fact that Strava's heat maps show private activities, and the portions of activities within your privacy range. So I'm not surprised this eventually came up as a problem, and it's something I hope Strava fixes somehow. When you live or bike somewhere that's pretty busy, it's likely not a major concern since it's clearly not just you on the route. But if you have your privacy setting so that people can't find your house, and you live somewhere that isn't on a popular route, it can cause issues.

    For example--see the below loop of my neighborhood on the freezing saddles heat map. It clearly shows a little inlet where I've started my garmin on my driveway.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	16596

    Here's what it looks like on Strava--where I have a privacy setting in place:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I've posted my home address on the forum before, so I'm not screaming about this for freezing saddles since 30 seconds of work on the forum could tell any of you where I live. But generally, I'd prefer things in my privacy zone not appear on heat maps, especially as my home isn't on a popular route. I put the privacy setting up for a reason--I don't generally want random Strava people knowing exactly where I live. So hopefully this issue causes Strava to re-think what data they show on heat maps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emm View Post
    I've always had a gripe with the fact that Strava's heat maps show private activities, and the portions of activities within your privacy range. So I'm not surprised this eventually came up as a problem, and it's something I hope Strava fixes somehow. When you live or bike somewhere that's pretty busy, it's likely not a major concern since it's clearly not just you on the route. But if you have your privacy setting so that people can't find your house, and you live somewhere that isn't on a popular route, it can cause issues.

    For example--see the below loop of my neighborhood on the freezing saddles heat map. It clearly shows a little inlet where I've started my garmin on my driveway.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screenshot_20180129-105059.jpg 
Views:	38 
Size:	75.9 KB 
ID:	16596

    Here's what it looks like on Strava--where I have a privacy setting in place:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screenshot_20180129-105621.jpg 
Views:	37 
Size:	7.7 KB 
ID:	16597

    I've posted my home address on the forum before, so I'm not screaming about this for freezing saddles since 30 seconds of work on the forum could tell any of you where I live. But generally, I'd prefer things in my privacy zone not appear on heat maps, especially as my home isn't on a popular route. I put the privacy setting up for a reason--I don't generally want random Strava people knowing exactly where I live. So hopefully this issue causes Strava to re-think what data they show on heat maps.
    I just discovered the little checkbox that is on by default that allows for "anonymous" sharing for heatmap purposes. That box is now unchecked...

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