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Danger of revealing home address because of running app

# **Rack of home address because of running apps** Running tracks recorded on Strava incorporate user-shared information that could be used to detect their home address. Raleigh University (USA) analyzed data from the Heatmap feature on the popular running app Strava. This is a feature that the company launched in 2018, which aggregates information about the route of all users, in order to create a map that records activity levels in areas. The higher the “temperature”, the brighter the map, indicating it’s an active area. This solution helps users identify areas where many people are using Strava, thereby evaluating it as a safe area, or easy to meet people with similar interests. However, according to the researchers, the feature can also identify a user’s home if combined with some information they share on their personal Strava page. The researcher said he used an image analysis tool to look for “dead ends” on the heatmap. The break of the road indicates that this could be the beginning or the end of the journey, often the user’s home. They then match the locations to a map, like OpenStreetMaps, to determine the exact locations of these stops. Data from heatmap does not inherently reveal user information. However, many people have a habit of using real names and photos, and publicly sharing running achievements as well as areas of frequent activity. From this collection of public information, the researcher analyzes to find the connection with stops on the heatmap, thereby inferring the home address of Strava users. Testing with some users in Arkansas, Ohio, and North Carolina, the study found that with people sharing an average of 308 active profiles on their profile, they were able to predict location accurately with a 37.5% rate. . The more information a user shares and is actively active in an area, the more data and predictive the heat map will be. As recommended by security experts, users should limit this risk by only enabling geolocation when away from home, only operating in crowded areas, or setting not to share data with heatmaps. In addition, profile information on Strava should only be set to private. Strava has not yet commented on the matter. However, the application also allows users to hide the start and end of the journey, with a distance from 200 to 1,600 meters. Strava is a fitness tracking app with over 100 million global users, favored by runners, swimmers and cyclists. In addition to route information, the application also helps track parameters such as heart rate, activity details, GPS. In Vietnam, Strava is constantly at the top of the list of the most downloaded Health and Fitness apps on smartphones. Previously, the heatmap feature on Strava was also accused of being able to reveal secret military locations, when many soldiers used this tool to track training, causing heat maps to light up in remote areas. avoid.

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