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DOD prohibits use of GPS on devices

Deployed Department of Defense personnel who are working in "operational areas,” may no longer use the geolocation services on their personal and government-issued devices.

“These geolocation capabilities can expose personal information, locations, routines and numbers of DOD personnel,” Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said, adding, "The rapidly evolving market of devices, applications and services with geolocation capabilities presents a significant risk to the [DOD] personnel on and off duty, and to our military operations globally.”

Under the new policy, which goes into effect immediately, DOD personnel must disable the GPS feature whether on or off duty, and it includes physical fitness aids, cell phone applications, and other devices and apps that pinpoint and track their location.

The GPS capabilities are used often to track and manage fitness health, but they then store the information and upload it to central servers where it can be shared with third parties.

“That information can present enemies with information on military operations,” A U.S. Army release states.

Manning said the department will continue to study the risk associated with the devices and aims to find a balance between safety and allowable personal use.

Read the full report here.

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