Strava – Apps Tracking More Than Just Fitness
Apps Really do Track Everything
With the fallout over the Strava fitness app that seemingly tracked a hell of a lot more than just fitness people are beginning to understand in better detail that while Strava made today’s headlines, it is most certainly not the only app around that is tracking every move one makes.
Yesterday when I got out my car and parked it on the street my Google Map App notified me of where I had parked. I did not ask it too remind me of that although, I did find it useful, I could also see the harm in the effort to become more useful for me, the end user.
That is because of one simple fact, I am not always the only end user of any app that I may have.
For every app that I have and use, I have to take into consideration that regardless of what promises the app’s make, someone may be watching my every move.
The problem here is that while developers want to help both advertisers and the world by making things easy to remember for instance, where you parked, track your fitness routine in such precise detail that you and your information are no longer secure.
By default we all become less safe when just attempting to get through our daily routine.
These apps have been stepping well over a very fine line for quite some time without anyone truly realizing it.
We all know nothing is truly 100% secure once it hits the internet, stored in the cloud, regardless of what cloud product you are utilizing so it is not a surprise that a fitness app would reveal so much intel about its end users, namely where they are choosing to workout.
Strava just opened the door in such a way that we can actually have some better thought behind securing data that tracks any consumer, maybe not being so precise or detailed, while also making it far easier to opt out of app tracking.
Strava tracked things in such detail that secret military base information was able to escape and make headline news.
What makes that worse for Strava, they make it extremely difficult to figure out just how to opt out of the tracking.
That should be a fineable offense in my opinion.
Just the other day while testing an app called ClockShark, we noted that when someone was off the clock but near a job site that we had them scheduled for the next day, the app alerted them via the users cell phone and asked the user if he wanted to clock into the job.
Not quite a good thing when you have employees all over the place already worried that employers are becoming too much like big brother.
Apps that track, in the current state of the world are a bad idea all the way around.
We have apps for pretty much everything these days, so fitness apps are not and should not be the only concern.
For every end user downloading apps, one should consider carefully why the app would need to track you and then promptly find out how to opt out of the apps tracking.
Cristal M Clark