- The FBI has been promoting its fitness app to people stuck at
home during the coronavirus outbreak.
- The app, FitTest, recommends routines for push-ups, sit-ups,
and jogs. It also gathers information from people’s phones,
including location data and WiFi network information.
having all of their activities monitored and recorded,” but the FBI
says the data it collects isn’t personally identifiable.
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After millions of Americans were
ordered to stay home to stop the spread of coronavirus this
week, the FBI tweeted a
suggestion: “Download the #FBI’s Physical Fitness Test app to learn
proper form for exercises you can do at home.”
The FBI’s workout app, called FitTest, offers a rudimentary
interface that guides people through sit-ups, push-ups, and jogging
routines. But the app also collects data from users’ smartphones,
including their location and the WiFi networks they connect to.
One Android user posted screenshots of the FitTest permissions
in a tweet
that was shared widely this week, noting the data the app was
collecting. Business Insider confirmed that the app requests
location and network data — per iOS and Android privacy
functions, users have to manually grant permission to share
location data before the app can track it.
The FitTest app is currently being promoted to people who are
quarantined amid the coronavirus outbreak, but the app has been
around for years. Privacy experts told
CNBC in 2018 that the language in the FBI’s privacy policies
make it difficult to determine exactly what data the app
The FBI says the data being collected is only stored within the
app on user’s phones. Users who download the app are greeted with a
privacy statement that says personal information associated with
the app “is not transmitted to, or saved by, the FBI.”
But the app’s privacy statement makes room for some tracking:
When FitTest accesses pages from the official FBI website, it says,
“individuals using this computer system are subject to having all
of their activities monitored and recorded.” The FitTest privacy
statement doesn’t explicitly state which app functions fall under
An FBI spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for
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