Data Acquisition

Pentagon Banning GPS-Enabled Devices for Deployed Military Personnel

08 August 2018

Following the discovery that a fitness app had been revealing sensitive intel about the location of major U.S. military bases, the Pentagon is issuing a ban on such technology for deployed U.S. military personnel.

"Effective immediately, DoD personnel are prohibited from using geolocation" apps and features, Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan wrote in a memo.

"The rapidly evolving market of devices, applications, and services with geolocation capabilities presents significant risk to Department of Defense (DoD) personnel both on and off duty, and to our military operations globally," the memo continued.

Whether domestic military personnel can still use GPS and other related technology will be for commanding officers and others in military leadership roles to decide. Such technology can be found in a host of devices including smart watches, cellphones, tablets and fitness trackers.

"These geolocation capabilities can expose personal information, locations, routines, and numbers of DoD personnel," Shanahan wrote, "and potentially create unintended security consequences and increased risk to the joint force and mission."

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Discussion – 2 comments

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Re: Pentagon Banning GPS-enabled Devices for Deployed Military Personnel
2018-Aug-08 1:01 PM

An interesting related anecdote:

I usually check Google Maps before I start my commute to see if there are any traffic jams or other issues that will interfere with my drive. Several weeks ago, I started getting notifications from the Maps App telling me what my commute time should be. It seems Maps has been recording my commute and likely has a good idea of where I'll be at that time in the morning or afternoon.

Now if I could just figure out how to turn it off.

Re: Pentagon Banning GPS-enabled Devices for Deployed Military Personnel
2018-Aug-08 4:10 PM

New 'deployment' uniforms gonna include obligatory "aluminum hats"?

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