It came out this week that the Pentagon had instituted a ban on the location option that includes fitness tracks. This was a reaction to a previous incident in which the same location data from Strava revealed its barren military locations in Afghanistan . This location data is sent via GPS, but it is easy to view by third parties.
The Dutch armed forces are now one step further says RTL Z, but not only because it is being done in the US. In the Netherlands, too, research carried out by journalists from the Correspondent showed that the location of soldiers – and even their names and addresses – could be found via the Polar fitness app.
No more telephone on mission
Sports apps in themselves could not be used for a while after the realization that soldiers in the Netherlands were so easy to follow, but now the apps are completely banned on defense devices. Personal devices are also no longer allowed to join a mission if a fitness tracker is on board or if soldiers are at work in sensitive locations.
Strangely enough, defense can not outright deny that staff on their personal phone have this kind of apps, because that breaks into their fundamental rights. The ministry of course advises that and points out to the military the risks of having such apps on their phone. Then you have to be very stubborn as a soldier not to remove the apps or at least turn off on your own phone.