Pentagon restricts use of fitness trackers, other electronic devices that reveal locations

Pentagon restricts use of fitness trackers, other electronic devices that reveal locations

USA troops and civilian Defense Department employees are now prohibited from using geolocation features or functionality on government-issued and personal devices while in locations identified as "operational areas", according to a new memo signed by Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan.

"The rapidly evolving market of devices, applications, and services with geolocation capabilities presents significant risk to Department of Defense (DoD) personnel both on and off duty, and to our military operations globally", the memo states".

The Pentagon is banning deployed personnel from using fitness trackers, smartphones and potentially even dating apps that use geolocating features that could reveal the user's location.

Troops in areas where security is less of a concern, such as bases in the USA or at the Pentagon itself, can still use their GPS-equipped devices and apps in most cases.

The prohibition of such tracking services, which range from smartphone and tablet applications to wearable fitness trackers, is created to protect information about where American servicemembers are operating, said Army Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman. Within the USA, the colorful web of lines was mostly just an interesting way of visualizing runners' data, but in Middle Eastern countries such as Afghanistan, the map showed much more.

In a public statement issued Friday, the Pentagon classified the use of geolocation technologies against U.S. forces as a "significant risk".

Margot Kidder's daughter makes mental health appeal
The world mourned the loss of chef, celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain and fashion designer, Kate Spade this past summer as well. Additionally, ambulances were called to Kidder's home five times in seven months, including at the time of her death.

Military leaders will be able to conduct risk assessments to determine whether troops under their command can use the devices in the area or on the base they are located.

"We don't want to give the enemy any unfair advantage", Manning told reporters Monday.

"Our military is operating in a new, hyperconnected world where off-the-shelf products are introducing threats to national security", said Bill Leigher, a retired US Navy rear admiral who's now director of government cyber solutions at Raytheon.

Senior Pentagon officials determined the potential for such information to be published again in the future posed an operational security risk to servicemembers, Manning said.

The latest memo says the new restrictions include Global Positioning System functions on fitness trackers, phones, tablets, smart watches and other applications.

The Pentagon announced Monday that it is putting new restrictions on USA troops carrying electronics, following revelations early this year that information they were sharing online could be collated to determine the locations of US bases and units overseas.

Related Articles

  • Verizon's Samsung Galaxy Note 9 BOGO deal leaks out

    Verizon's Samsung Galaxy Note 9 BOGO deal leaks out

    Samsung has posted on YouTube a video dedicated to the flagship phablet Galaxy Note 9 a week before its official announcement. With the Note 8 costing just shy of R17k, and factoring inflation, a R20k price tag on the Note 9 is not hard to imagine.
    Victims Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki Bombings Remembered In Lok Sabha

    Victims Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki Bombings Remembered In Lok Sabha

    Abe said differences between the nuclear and non-nuclear states had widened, but he pledged to do more to bridge their gap. Hagerty IV made his first appearance at the ceremony since he was sworn in for the current post in July of past year .
    Chinese exports accelerate as USA  prepares new tariffs in heated row

    Chinese exports accelerate as USA prepares new tariffs in heated row

    According to the United States Census Bureau , the country exported $10.2 billion in new and used passenger cars to China in 2017. April 4: China rolls out a listof more than 100 U.S. goods worth roughly $50 billion that are subject to retaliatory tariffs.
  • Thibaut Courtois signs for Real Madrid

    Thibaut Courtois signs for Real Madrid

    Manchester United legend Gary Neville believes Chelsea will miss Thibaut Courtois . The club have confirmed he has signed a seven-year contract.
    USA  hits Russian Federation  with sanctions over nerve agent attack in Britain

    USA hits Russian Federation with sanctions over nerve agent attack in Britain

    The measures are scheduled to go into effect on or around August 22, according to the State Department. Three months later a British woman, Dawn Sturgess , died after being poisoned by novichok in a...
    Liverpool are Man City’s bogey team, says Kyle Walker

    Liverpool are Man City’s bogey team, says Kyle Walker

    Alan Shearer and Ian Wright might be Premier League heroes, but in recent times they've also become popular pundits for BBC Sport. Stan Collymore is tipping Liverpool FC to finish second ahead of Manchester United in third in the Premier League this season.
  • Xiaomi Mi A2 Price in India Leaked ahead of Today’s Launch

    Xiaomi Mi A2 Price in India Leaked ahead of Today’s Launch

    Also, the phone was first unveiled in Spain, and the 4GB+64GB variant will begin retailing first after the today's launch. Customers buying the device will get a cashback worth Rs 2,200 cashback and 4.5 TB of free data from Reliance Jio.

    Kourtney Kardashian and boyfriend Younes Bendjima call it quits

    He also shared another message in which he told fans he was "not attached to this "life" so criticism would not bring him down. After getting dumped, Younes then shaded Scott Disick 's ex's Instagram booty pic in mid-July .
    NICK FURY & MARIA HILL Return for SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME

    NICK FURY & MARIA HILL Return for SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME

    How all of this plays out onscreen is still anyone's guess, but if you dig Jackson as Fury, get ready to see a lot more of him. And, of course, there's always a chance that he could also turn up in the still-untitled Avengers 4.
  • Jose Mourinho exclusive interview ahead of Man United v Leicester City

    Jose Mourinho exclusive interview ahead of Man United v Leicester City

    We go with everything we have in that first match. 'Its hard for me to believe we finished second. In football, you need time to work and players on the pitch to work and we didn't have until now.
    Indonesia's Lombok hit by another strong quake

    Indonesia's Lombok hit by another strong quake

    With hospitals and clinics also affected, numerous injured have had to be treated in the open air or in makeshift clinics. The Indonesian island of Lombok has been hit by a strong quake , as it still reels from the impact of Sunday's tremor.
    Snapchat lost 3 million daily users in the past three months

    Snapchat lost 3 million daily users in the past three months

    The social network has reported that for the first time it has started losing users who log in once a day. It also reported revenue of $262.3 million, slightly above analyst expectations of $250.4 million.