Another great argument for opt-in as opposed to opt-out data sharing on social networks. This past weekend, [Nathan Ruser] announced on Twitter that Strava’s heatmap also managed to highlight exercise activity by military/intelligence personnel around the world, including some unannounced facilities. More worryingly, some of the mapped paths imply patrol and supply routes.
The biggest contributor (besides wearing a tracking device in general) to this situation is that the data sharing is enabled by default and must be opted-out:
“You can opt-out of contributing your anonymized public activity data to Strava Metro and the Heatmap by unchecking the box in this section.” – Strava Blog, July 2017
A global map published by the company shows users’ movements and is said to expose data about bases and personnel, including those of U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria.