Strava Fitness App’s privacy practices are inherently dangerous to the men and women serving in the United States military. According to The Washington Post, the app showed on a heat map available on the Internet the fitness routine of our military members. Many of these data points were from users based in hostile countries around the world where secret U.S. military bases are located. What makes this situation so troubling is that the company’s tone deaf response doesn’t seem to care that its data sharing practices have intentionally endangered the lives of our brave men and women who trusted the app.
Strava CEO’s Letter To The Strava Community about the matter contained nothing more than PR and legal bullshit. What the letter doesn’t say is that a member of the media had shared her concerns about its troubling privacy practices last year and wrote about it in Quartz. And…the company could have avoided putting the lives of our military at risk if it only listened to her concerns and changed its troubling privacy practices.
The bottom line is that Strava’s actions, policies, and practices demonstrate it has turned a blind eye to its users’ safety, security, and privacy. Its reckless and intentional misuse of its user data should lead the FTC to open an investigation and the U.S. government to ban the app until its privacy policies and practices are changed to ensure that users know exactly who may view their personal data.