Strava will refresh its heat map every month to clear it of data that recently went private

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The Strava social training network is still trying to respond to the privacy oversights that led to the exposure of military bases around the world earlier this year. The company announced several changes to its heat map today, including restricting the display of data to anyone other than registered users. The heat map will also not show routes with little activity and will only be populated once several different users have worked in the area. The map will also be updated monthly to delete any data that may have been made private.
None of these changes seems very useful to avoid exposing low-profile locations. Researchers can always register to see data, and assuming that a group of people are exercising on a military base and run the same routes with Strava, their data will reach the heat map. The monthly summary is good, however, and will at least erase the data of people who have changed their minds about sharing their location.
More important than Strava's heat map updates is your adjustment to your opt-out option for the heat map. Instead of requiring multiple clicks, you can now toggle the heat map on the first page of the privacy settings. These are useful adjustments since the end of Strava, but on the consumer side, if you work on a restricted campus and want to keep hidden places like the design of a military base, do not use location tracking in general and definitely avoid tracking location publicly.
Update 3/13, 3:56 PM ET: updated to clarify the owner and Strava's heat map does not show private data or personally identifiable information.


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