Monday, 29 January 2018

Big Brother Is Walking You? The Pitfalls of #StepCounter Apps Part 2 #Fitness #Walking

DC Editor Adam writes…

Hate to say told-ya-so, but you've really got to take care with that data, guys.

As regular Daily Constitutionalists and London Walkers will know, I've been road-testing step counters and fitness trackers this January. I was interested to see this story in The Guardian

"Sensitive information about the location and staffing of military bases and spy outposts around the world has been revealed by a fitness tracking company.

The details were released by Strava in a data visualisation map that shows all the activity tracked by users of its app, which allows people to record their exercise and share it with others.

The map, released in November 2017, shows every single activity ever uploaded to Strava – more than 3 trillion individual GPS data points, according to the company. The app can be used on various devices including smartphones and fitness trackers like Fitbit to see popular running routes in major cities, or spot individuals in more remote areas who have unusual exercise patterns."

Catch up with my post on the downside of Fitness Apps here…

What was it about the Human app that made me sit up and question the whole business? The answer is that its great strengths were its own undoing.

The Human app started to make me feel a little uneasy because it mapped – in a beautifully well-designed and accessible way – all my movements. It then stored and presented those movements - again, in a beautifully well-designed and accessible way. Anyone stealing or hacking your device has a literal map to your door PLUS a timetable of the hours when you are most commonly away from home

Read the full post here:

Tomorrow I'll post my review of the Map My Walk app.

Read my reviews so far of all the step count apps I've road-tested so far in 2018…

 - ★★★★ 

StepRecorder – ★★

Steps – ★★★★

iSteps – ★★★★★

Human ★★★★

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