• Annette Weller-Collison

Chubby Soldiers and Fitbit Expose Military

Over the last couple days, the down side of failing to manage IoT (Internet of Things) data and security became painfully apparent. Some time ago the military decided that soldiers were chubby and to combat that corpulence the military provided Fitbits to thousands of soldiers. The thinking was that if they were monitoring their activity they would be more active. Not surprisingly it worked.


So what is the down side? A company #Strava was aggregating Fitbit data and creating data visualization maps / heatmaps of people’s activities. Here’s where the law of unintended consequences bites the military in the back side. The heat maps provided detailed maps of movement of Fitbit wearers and the locations where no locals would be wearing the body function monitoring devices such as Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan. What the heat map of Fitbit data indicated was the presence of US military personnel in locations where they were not expected to be found including deep within countries that exposed the US military to serious intelligence and security concerns.


We have entered the age of passive data where billions of devices capture and transfer data to centralized repositories usually with limited human intervention and limited awareness. These are times to have a better understanding of what devices exist in your organization, what data is being collected and by whom, where that information is going, who owns it, and how it will be used. Kahn Consulting is embarking on a new service to help organizations get a better handle on its passive information collection and transfer. Contact Kahn Consulting to discuss the IoT Assessment. @KahnThinks #Strava #Fitbit


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