Jogging apps pose threat to China's armed forces

Updated 2016-12-29 09:25:54 Global Times

A military base in Fujian Province has blocked all GPS services to smartphones after a soldier unknowingly revealed his location by sharing his jogging progress through an app.

GPS-based trackers, such as fitness wristbands and smartphones, can potentially leak classified information such as infantry location and movements, an investigation into the incident showed.

The solider, a member of the Coast Defense Force in Fujian Province, had GPS tracked his long-distance run to share with friends on popular social media platform WeChat.

However, his geo-tagged data revealed not only the classified area where his troop was stationed, but the names of landmarks surrounding his barracks, reported China National Defense News on Tuesday.

The post was immediately deleted after a ranking officer discovered it online.

The incident has also revealed a widespread disregard for regulations banning smartphone use among soldiers.

An investigation into the Fujian Province incident showed that 43 percent of soldiers in the brigade had at one point shared details on social media about their training, despite explicit rules banning it.

The regulation, passed by China's Central Military Commission in July 2015, forbids smartphone use among soldiers for security reasons.

But many of the soldiers were still sharing their tracked progress online as a way to compare progress and compete with one another.

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