fb-pixel Skip to main content

Pentagon restricts use of fitness trackers, other devices

A portion of a heat map from Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan, made by tracking the activities of those wearing fitness trackers. STRAVA LABS/Screenshot from https://labs.strava.com/heatmap

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new Pentagon order says military troops and other defense personnel on certain sensitive bases and warzone areas won’t be allowed to use fitness tracker or cellphone applications that can reveal their location.

The memo stops short of banning the fitness trackers or other electronic devices, which are often linked to cellphone applications and can provide the users’ GPS details to social media. It says technologies on personal or government-issued devices that can pinpoint a person’s location present a significant risk to military personnel, so those capabilities must be turned off in certain operational areas.

Military leaders will determine if their troops can use the GPS function, based on the security threat in their region.


The Associated Press obtained a copy of the memo, which was signed Friday.