All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Strava's Heat Map Firestorm

The exercise-tracking app Strava faced a barrage of criticism after a researcher discovered that the company's Heat Map feature - which displayed aggregated exercise data on a map - revealed sensitive user activity, including the potential locations of secret U.S. military installations overseas, to the surprise of many users, including those who had adjusted separate privacy settings. Others pointed out that “anonymized” data incorporated into the Heat Map was, in fact, linkable to individual Strava users. Users seeking to opt out of the Heat Map found Strava’s privacy settings “difficult to find, understand, and use.” In a public statement, Strava bafflingly pointed users to these same controls, but not before prominent commentators called the mess-up a full-blown "data privacy debacle."

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