Sports and geolocation: a dangerous couple
The technology has long since landed in amateur sport (in professional and takes decades) to make a habit of training easier, more efficient and fun. From streaming music services that make lists of songs according to your race pace to sophisticated gadgets to measure any variable that crosses your mind.
Your contributions are welcome … almost all. Because sometimes these devices give more account information to others. We talk about the case of geolocation incorporated in many of these devices or applications, and the care you should have with that information.
You dress to go running, activate your smart sports watch, your bracelet or the app that you carry on your mobile and leave the portal. You make your kilometers and return home. Already there you take a look at your performance today : how much you have run, how fast, how much unevenness you have covered in total … Satisfied with your results, you go to the shower.
These data are often shared depersonalized, […] but you should have the last word about it
The information collected by the device helps you to know how it went, and also to check your progress race after race, something especially important in terms of motivation and if you are preparing for a long race.
But remember that in many cases, these data are also useful for the company that makes the software of your devices or the applications you use, and ultimately for your phone operator, so that you know which way you do each day when training.
That’s why it’s not a bad idea to take a look (one really) at the terms and conditions of use of the devices you use, because that should reflect what they will do with that information and with what third parties they will share it.
In many cases, you may not care that they do it. These data are often shared depersonalized , with the sole objective of segmenting the presentation of advertising, but in any case, you should have the last word about it.
When we are the ones who share it
Of course, most of the time you do not have to go to the terms and conditions of anything because we are the ones who share that information in a conscious and voluntary way, either in the application itself with other users, or in our social networks with all our contacts.
Sometimes they are only the numerical data (distance, speed, slope …), other times it is the detailed map of our route . And be careful because an attentive observer would not have much trouble to find out thanks to that information what is our address: we just have to look at where our career begins and ends.
This does not happen only in sports, of course. Today we upload geolocalized photos to Instagram, we can indicate where we send each tweet and Facebook also insists on telling from the rooftops where we are and with whom. All our life is being recorded on the internet . Keep this in mind when you go out to train and think if, for today, you do not prefer to deactivate the location of your app or gadget and focus only on your performance.
The murder of two athletes opened the debate
The debate on sports and geolocation intensified in August 2016 after the murder of two young athletes in the United States. Both were running fans and had run at the time of his death.
Vanessa Marcotte , 27, was found dead in Worcester County, Massachusetts. Karina Vetrano was murdered in Howard Beach, Queens.
Although the police considered that both cases were not related, they did have something in common: the two used to geotag their careers and at that moment they were making a route that they practiced regularly. It is possible that their respective murderers knew, therefore, where they were going to pass.
This, as we say, opened a debate about the security of publishing on the internet the training routes of athletes, something that together with the time routines allows anyone to know where we will be and at what time .