Online investigations outfit Bellingcat has found that fitness tracking kit-maker Polar reveals both the identity and daily activity of its users – including soldiers and spies.
Many users of Polar’s devices and app appear not to have paid attention to their privacy settings, as a result a Bellingcat writer found 6,460 individuals from 69 countries. More than 200 of them left digital breadcrumbs around sensitive locations.
Bellingcat’s report claimed the Polar Flow social-fitness site produces more compromising data than other fitness-trackers than previous leaks: “Compared to the similar services of Garmin and Strava, Polar publicizes more data per user in a more accessible way, with potentially disastrous results.“
“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.”
Bellingcat notes that the big difference between Polar and Strava is that the former offers more comprehensive data, more easily, covering everything a user has uploaded to the platform since 2014.