By Philippe Tremblay
Could your Strava activities accidentally be exposing top-secret or sensitive information through global heat maps? Fret not, after the recent revelations that military installations were exposed by Strava’s heat map which showed the traces of cumulative activities of millions of uses across the world raising security concerns, Strava has made it easier to adjust your privacy settings.
You can now go to the privacy page and select whether your data ends up being used in Strava Metro and heat maps. Strava Metro similar to heat maps is a collection of users activity data that is sold to city planners, departments of transportation and other partners to give insight on how people in cities move that could be used to improve city infrastructure.
Athletes can now go to their settings page and navigate to the privacy settings where a Strava Metro and Heatmap section allows users to check a box to opt-out ensuring their data will no be used for these purposes. The move is intended to make it easier to protect sensitive information like the data that allegedly showed military installations. In the Strava app, the privacy settings for heat maps are equally accessible.
— Matt Cagle (@Matt_Cagle) February 28, 2018
— Matt Cagle (@Matt_Cagle) March 1, 2018
The change makes these privacy settings easier to change but does not address the underlining problem that if users don’t take the proactive step of opting out could accidentally be exposing sensitive or private information. Strava has also said their engineering and user-experience teams are working at bolstering safety features.