Polar's fitness app exposed its users' sensitive location details

Polar’s fitness app made it dangerously easy to track soldiers and secret agents worldwide

The Flow fitness app produced by the Finnish sports activity tracking firm Polar has been found to reveal users' sensitive location data, according to the investigative news service Long Play, the Dutch online news service De Correspondent and the online citizen journalism group Bellingcat.

The vulnerability that allowed virtually anyone to identify individuals working at top-secret locations, such as military bases overseas, by sifting through exercise regimens of people in that area, has been jointly reported by Bellingcat and the Netherlands' De Correspondent.

This included the location details of soldiers and secret agents.

Fitness gadget company Polar offers a range of heart rate monitors, fitness trackers, and Global Positioning System sports watches.

However, with enough digging, Polar's tracking info also exposes its users' names and home addresses. So someone exercising on a military base will not only reveal where the base is, but also where they live as fitness trackers are typically turned off when entering a home, and turned back on when leaving it several hours later (and usually overnight).

England fans celebrate as team make it to semi-final
Gareth Southgate's side will now face Croatia, who knocked out hosts Russian Federation on penalties, in the semi-finals in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday.

PSG make world record bid for former Liverpool ace, Coutinho
Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly considering a world-record £240m bid for Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho this summer. At the 2018 World Cup, Coutinho reached the quarterfinals, where the Brazilians lost to the Belgian squad 1-2.

Hamilton fastest in disrupted British FP3
The replays suggested a front-left tyre suspension failure with Hartley crashing into the barrier heading into Brooklands. Hartley was able to walk away from the incident, but the severe damage to his Toro Rosso means he might miss qualifying.

Polar has acknowledged that the Explore feature could be used to provide insight into potentially sensitive locations, but blamed users for sharing their data. Tracing all of this information is very simple through the site: find a military base, select an exercise published there to identify the attached profile, and see where else this person has exercised. Users often use their full names in their profiles, accompanied by a profile picture - even if they did not connect their Facebook profile to their Polar account.

"We were able to scrape Polar's site. for individuals' exercise at 200-plus. sensitive sites, and we gathered a list of almost 6500 unique users", researcher Foeke Postma wrote. On Friday, the company issued a statement in which it said that it did not leak users' private information and that there had been no data breach affecting private data.

The Explore component of Polar Flow was meant to show anonymous data on its users and their activities around the globe, displaying it in a similar fashion to the activity map that was responsible for Strava's woes earlier in the year.

While the app has been most popular in the West, investigators claimed they managed to unearth the identities and home addresses of the Russian military in Crimea.

We reached out to Polar for comment on the reports, who responded: "All your profile, training sessions and activity summaries are all set to private by default".

Related:

  • £35million Chelsea target in London ahead of completing Premier League move

    £35million Chelsea target in London ahead of completing Premier League move

    Sevilla will step up their interest in the Ivory Coast global if midfielder Steven N'Zonzi leaves the club this summer.
    Del Monte 'small veggie trays' result in 212 confirmed parasite cases

    Del Monte 'small veggie trays' result in 212 confirmed parasite cases

    A previous major cyclosporiasis outbreak was reported in 2015 , when 546 individuals were infected across 31 states. People infected may also experience loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps or pain, nausea, gas and fatigue.

    Beyonce and Chris Martin among stars heading to SA

    The festival will be celebrated over 6 months in line with the United Nations sustainable development goals. The group has since branched out overseas with seminars and music in India, Germany and elsewhere.
  • DJ Khaled cancels festival appearance after posting

    DJ Khaled cancels festival appearance after posting "still on vacation" photos

    First there was his " Still on vacation! " social media posts the pool, quickly followed by an official announcement from the festival.

    More Clues About Sacha Baron Cohen's New TV Show

    Then, Baron Cohen's voice - in a thick, Borat-style accent - can be heard addressing former US Vice President Dick Cheney . We see Cheney on screen, sitting in an armchair and happily signing the apparent torture device.
    Chicago Gun Protesters Close Major Street Near Downtown

    Chicago Gun Protesters Close Major Street Near Downtown

    The march has drawn praise from Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg, who are survivors of the school shooting Parkland, Florida. Police warned earlier this week that any pedestrian who entered the expressway would face arrest and prosecution.
  • The doctors explained why wearing a tie is bad for health

    The doctors explained why wearing a tie is bad for health

    Once the ties were loosened in these individuals, the third MRI showed that a 5.7 percent deficit in blood supply remained. Study leader Robin Lüddecke and colleagues write that it is too early to draw definitive conclusions from this study.
    Deal Alert: Get 4 months of Amazon Music for only $0.99

    Deal Alert: Get 4 months of Amazon Music for only $0.99

    These include thousands of items in all categories, nu.nl said in an advertorial, widely picked up by other media, on Friday. This is the first year that Amazon Prime subscribers in the Netherlands will have access to Prime Day.

    Two dozen more confirmed in parasite outbreak linked to Del Monte

    The CDC said on Thursday that the outbreak is linked to Del Monte 6-, 12-, and 28-ounce plastic clamshell vegetable trays. Specific lab tests are required to diagnose the infection, which has symptoms that can be confused with other illnesses.
  • Bernie Sanders: Pruitt's replacement is just as bad on the environment

    Bernie Sanders: Pruitt's replacement is just as bad on the environment

    Mr Pruitt's resignation is the latest in a long list of White House departures since Mr Trump took office previous year . Trump said they had been talking about Pruitt's exit for a "little while", adding "He'll go and do great things".

    "The World Is A Gangster", US Retorts After North Korea's Accusations

    So, if I were President Trump , I would not let China use North Korea to back me off of the trade dispute. Apart from the trilateral meeting, Kono held separate talks with Pompeo and Kang.
    Syria intercepts Israeli missiles fired at T-4 airbase

    Syria intercepts Israeli missiles fired at T-4 airbase

    The Syrian air defences have hit an Israeli warplane during an airstrike by Israel on Syria's T-4 Air base, the Syrian Army said. The Syrian government has repeatedly condemned the Israeli aggression and warned about its unsafe repercussions.

Comments

Latest news

The last straw? Starbucks pledges to eliminate plastic straws globally by 2020
The brewer is phasing out plastic, one-time-use straws, because of material waste and danger to aquatic sea life they can cause. A number of local governments have recently passed legislation restricting the use and distribution of plastic straws.

West Nile virus positive mosquitoes detected in Boston
West Nile virus is an infectious disease that was first introduced to the United States in 1999. On June 28, mosquitoes in Suffolk tested positive for the West Nile Virus and EEE.

Woman on oxygen tank dies after her power is cut off
We were fanning her. "She was trying to catch her breath - she was gasping for air", said her granddaughter, Mia, 28. They had not notified us of any medical circumstances in the home", it said in a statement.

Sacha Baron Cohen asks Dick Cheney to sign his "waterboard kit" in new teaser for Showtime series
However, this new TV project - apparently titled Who Is America? - could be just the thing to put him back on top. The posters teased images of Cohen's new characters for the series and an airtime of Sundays at 10 pm.

Md. Native Travis Pastrana Completes Three Evel Knievel Stunts
He was looking to break Knievel's records. "This was so cool, such an epic time", Pastrana told The History Channel . It was a stunt his famous predecessor never got to attempt but nearly certainly would have applauded.

Priyanka Chopra And Nick Jonas' Co-Star 'Takes Credit For Bringing Them Together'
The actress returned to Mumbai last week, sans Nick Jonas with whom she was last seen cycling on the streets of NY . During his visit to India, Nick also met Priyanka's cousin Parineeti Chopra and Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt.

Wimbledon 2018 -- Roger Federer cruises into quarterfinals
He has lost the previous five but impressed in their most -recent meeting, in Basel a year ago , when he won the opening set. Also, big names like John Isner and Novak Djokovic can be important in the last matches". "I just think it's not necessary.

Jack Wilshere signs for West Ham United
The London club have secured the services of Issa Diop, Lukasz Fabianski and Ryan Fredericks so far this summer. And this week they are expected to snap up Wilshere, Fabian Balbuena, and Felipe Anderson from Lazio .

West Ham close in on Andriy Yarmolenko and Jack Wilshere
The club are also still in talks with Sporting Lisbon over the signing of midfielder Bruno Fernandes. The 28-year-old must also obtain a work permit before he can become a West Ham player.

Wales name head coach Gatland's successor
If he is appointed, it will be a return to worldwide coaching for Pivac, who was Fiji boss for three years from 2004-2007. Gatland steps down after the 2019 World Cup and fellow New Zealander Pivac has always been touted as his successor.

UK's Brexit Secretary David Davis has resigned
After many months of rumours that he would pull the plug, David Davis has actually quit as Brexit Secretary. Davis, a sharp operator and a gut-instinct politician, was a Leave campaigner in the referendum.

Roger Federer vs Adrian Mannarino, Wimbledon 2018 live score and latest updates
An unseeded Gael Monfils could give Federer trouble if he beats Anderson, as he possesses four career wins against the No. 1 seed. But he has spoken to the world number one regularly and believes he can enjoy a fruitful run in the tournament.

Delhi gang-rape: SC to deliver verdict on convicts' plea
The accused had then appealed to the court to review their sentences, saying it was "cold-blooded killing in the name of Justice". After being treated at AIIMS, New Delhi , the woman was flown to Singapore for treatment where she died on December 29 , 2012.

Starbucks to DITCH plastic straws over environmental concerns
Last month, McDonald's ( MCD ) said that it would start switching to paper straws in the United Kingdom and Ireland in September. Still, those who support limiting plastic straws say they are generally unnecessary and a ban is symbolically important.

"Alien Life Payload?" NASA's Kepler Spacecraft Downloads Exoplanet Science Data
The decision to put Kepler into the hibernation-like state was due to a recent "indication" that it is "very low" on fuel. That mission will continue for however long the fuel lasts; the space agency expects this to be "in the next few months".

Other news