Polar Fitness App Data Breach

December 30, 2018
social media accounts

A popular trend in the mobile app market that recently suffered a data breach is involving fitness apps. Nike Plus, Strava, adidas miCoach and a slew of other apps have been developed to better track the fitness regiments of people globally. Polar, another popular fitness app, tried to up the ante by adding a feature called Global Activity Map, which is essentially a tracking device that links all of the information about your fitness habits to your social media accounts, and yes, that includes your personal identifiable information, such as your home address, exact location at any given time, your age, body weight, current temperature and even your blood type.

What makes this such a critical threat would be its connection to your social media accounts, which pretty much stores 95% of your information in the daily traffic that you do on the internet. Imagine having just gone home from your morning jog, logged your daily progress and shared it on social media, and then that afternoon, a notification on your Facebook account stating that your account has been compromised suddenly pops up? I would not be comfortable nor secure if that happens, especially if I transact with other people or run certain parts of my business through social media.

Polar has since disabled the Global Activity Map feature, which has been active since 2014, due to the security risks that come with it. A temporary countermeasure that they have applied would be that they ask users whether they want to activate the feature Polar flow that allows the app to access their social media accounts instantaneously, and has since applied a password-protect privacy enabling system for its users.

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