In what is being described as a major security oversight, deployed US troops and CIA operatives have been revealing highly sensitive information regarding operational locations.
The US-led Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, and certainly all additional forward deployed American units, are reviewing the use of fitness trackers such as Fitbit and Jawbone after publicly accessible interactive maps gave away the positions and movements of those troops wearing the devices while subscribed to the tracking service.
The GPS monitoring company Strava, which facilitates popular fitness trackers and has its own app for analyzing movement, published a Global Heat Map which showed a two-year accumulation of their subscribers’ dynamics, which included that of deployed US troops, including those operating on and around secret bases in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and northern Africa.
Enemy forces stand to gain valuable information through this inadvertent slip-up by coalition forces. Not only did the interactive map give away secret bases, it also showed the most intensely used areas of larger established bases like Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.
The app’s analysis basically did the homework for the enemy. Since the devices usually track all movement and locations throughout the day, patrol routes outside the of the wire could be analyzed for patterns of repetition, and that information could be used by hostile forces to plan attacks with IEDs, SVBIEDs, and ambushes with a higher likelihood of success.
“The rapid development of new and innovative information technologies enhances the quality of our lives but also poses potential challenges to operational security and force protection,” the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State said on Monday to The Washington Post.