#CBC: “Pentagon limits use of fitness trackers, geolocation services in some operations” #Toronto #Montreal #Calgary #Ottawa #Canada


Military troops and different defence personnel at delicate bases or sure high-risk struggle zone areas will not be allowed to make use of fitness-tracker or cellphone purposes that may reveal their location, in response to a brand new Pentagon order.

The memo, obtained by The Associated Press, stops wanting banning the health trackers or different digital gadgets, which are sometimes linked to cellphone purposes or sensible watches and may allow the customers’ GPS and train particulars to be shared on social media.

It says the purposes on private or government-issued gadgets current a “significant risk” to navy personnel, so these capabilities have to be turned off in sure operational areas.

Under the brand new order, navy leaders will be capable of decide whether or not troops beneath their command can use the GPS perform on their gadgets, primarily based on the safety menace in a given space or base.

“These geolocation capabilities can expose personal information, locations, routines and numbers of DOD personnel and potentially create unintended security consequences and increased risk to the joint force and mission,” the memo mentioned.

Restrictions differ by base and mission

Defence personnel who aren’t in delicate areas will be capable of use the GPS purposes if the commanders conclude they do not current a danger.

For instance, troops exercising at main navy bases across the U.S., such at Fort Hood in Texas or Norfolk Naval Station in Virginia, would seemingly be capable of use the situation software program on their telephones or health gadgets. Troops on missions in additional delicate places, equivalent to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan or components of Africa, in the meantime, could be restricted from utilizing the gadgets or be required to show off any location perform.

Army Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, mentioned it is a transfer to make sure the enemy cannot simply goal U.S. forces.

“It goes back to making sure that we’re not giving the enemy an unfair advantage and we’re not showcasing the exact locations of our troops worldwide,” Manning mentioned.

Concerns about train trackers and different digital gadgets got here to a head in January within the wake of revelations that an interactive, on-line map was pinpointing troop places, bases and different delicate areas all over the world.

Tuesday’s memo was the second the Pentagon, above, has launched in current months limiting the usage of cellphones and different digital gadgets. (Charles Dharapak/Associated Press)

The Global Heat Map, revealed by the GPS monitoring firm Strava, used satellite tv for pc info to map the places of subscribers to Strava’s health service.

At the time, the map confirmed exercise from 2015 via September 2017. And whereas closely populated areas have been effectively lit, struggle zones equivalent to Iraq and Syria present scattered pockets of exercise that would denote navy or authorities personnel utilizing health trackers as they transfer round.

The Pentagon instantly launched a evaluation, noting that the digital indicators might probably disclose the situation of troops who’re in secret or labeled places or on small ahead working bases in hostile areas.

Fitbit says information collected provided that customers agree

This is the second memo affecting the usage of cellphones and different digital gadgets that the division has launched in current months. In May, defence officers laid out new restrictions for the usage of cellphones and different cell wi-fi gadgets contained in the Pentagon.

That memo referred to as for stricter adherence to long-held practices that require telephones be left in storage containers exterior safe areas the place delicate issues are mentioned. But it additionally stopped wanting banning the gadgets and as an alternative made clear that cellphones can nonetheless be utilized in widespread areas and different workplaces within the Pentagon if labeled info will not be current.

The newest memo says the brand new restrictions embrace GPS capabilities on health trackers, telephones, tablets, smartwatches and different purposes.

The Pentagon additionally mentioned it should present further cybersecurity coaching to incorporate the dangers posed by the trackers and different cell gadgets.

Heather Pierce, a spokeswoman for Fitbit, which makes wearable health trackers, mentioned Monday: “Fitbit is dedicated to defending shopper privateness and retaining information secure.

“Unlike a smartphone, location data is not collected by Fitbit unless a user gives us access to the data, and users can always remove our access.”

Note: “Previously Published on: 2018-08-07 18:47:35, as ‘Pentagon limits use of health trackers, geolocation companies in some operations’ on CBC RADIO-CANADA. Here is a supply hyperlink for the Article’s Image(s) and Content”.

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