Strava makes it easier to opt out of its controversial heat maps feature

New settings offer a more prominent opt-out toggle
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In January, Strava came under fire when its global heat maps were found to be revealing sensitive information about the location of military bases around the world. Now, the company has responded by changing the way the settings work in its app.

As we discovered when we tried to opt-out of the feature ourselves back in January, doing so wasn't easy. Strava has now made this process more straightforward by placing a more prominent toggle in the privacy settings for users to opt out of sharing their data with heat maps.

Read this: Why 'fit leaking' is a problem that goes beyond Strava

ACLU attorney Matt Cagle spotted the change, and while it wasn't mentioned in the version updates, Strava told The Verge that the change was made in February.

John Scott-Railton, senior researcher at The Citizen Lab, told us in January that he was concerned about the wider issue of "fit leaking" which goes beyond Strava to all fitness apps that are collecting and sometimes sharing user data. Making opt-out settings clearer to the user is a good start, but there's still a much bigger problem here that needs to be tackled.

"We are emitting location data way faster than we can understand the implications," he told us at the time. "And as a result we're playing catch up."

Strava makes it easier to opt out of its controversial heat maps feature


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Hugh Langley


Now at Business Insider, Hugh originally joined Wareable from TechRadar where he’d been writing news, features, reviews and just about everything else you can think of for three years.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider.

Prior to Wareable, Hugh freelanced while studying, writing about bad indie bands and slightly better movies. He found his way into tech journalism at the beginning of the wearables boom, when everyone was talking about Google Glass and the Oculus Rift was merely a Kickstarter campaign - and has been fascinated ever since.

He’s particularly interested in VR and any fitness tech that will help him (eventually) get back into shape. Hugh has also written for T3, Wired, Total Film, Little White Lies and China Daily.

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