- 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.
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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 collects.
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.”
In a statement to Business Insider, an FBI spokesperson reiterated the app’s privacy statement, adding that “the app does not gather or save any personal information other than what you select for your profile.”