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

New settings offer a more prominent opt-out toggle

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 more easy to opt out of its controversial heat maps feature


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