Feeds

Garmin Connect exposes cycle trip details to world

Takes Facebookian attitude to privacy

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

FourSquare is notorious for disclosing the location of users to world+dog, but the perils of applications that tell potential burglars or stalkers you aren't at home extend far beyond social networks.

Garmin Connect, which allows members to upload GPS computer data from cycling trips, shares this data by default, creating a privacy issue that many users may have failed to notice. The feature was spotted by Mark Croonen, secretary of the Australian Defense Cycling Club.

Croonen warns that even if a user shields ride data from public view these changes will not be applied retrospectively, so previous ride data will be disclosed.

"When you upload your ride data, by default Garmin Connect shares your data with the world unless you specifically change the privacy settings," Croonen explains. "So all things being equal the average user won’t give this a second thought and will leave the settings on public access. Furthermore even if you do change the default settings it won’t change the settings for any rides you have already uploaded, you’ll have to go back and manually change the setting for each ride."

Surfers can browse the Garmin Connect site to identify riders in a particular area and times when are habitually away from home without even having to log on, arguably creating a handy utility for potential burglars in the process. The perils of making location updates available through social networking services such as FourSquare, most clearly illustrated by the PleaseRobMe site, also apply to Garmin Connect, and probably many other web applications.

"I don’t mean to pick on Garmin Connect as I’m sure other services probably have the same issue but if you are going to use these services this is probably something you want to keep in mind," Croonen concludes in a thought-provoking entry on his blog, The Cycle Way. ®

Bootnote

A hat tip to the security researchers at Sunbelt for bringing this issue to wider attention.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.