November 19, 2014
A recent outbreak of bike thefts in Wales leaves Strava users questioning privacy
A recent rash of bicycle thefts in Carmarthenshire, Wales is being linked to GPS ride-recording apps like Strava. The rise of crime led local police to investigate and found that many of the victims used apps to track their rides.
Strava tracks your location from the second you hit record, so if you start your ride as you are leaving your house, it is pretty easy to find your home address. Also, Strava allows you to share what bicycle you ride as well, which lets thieves target homes with expensive or in-demand bikes.
Mike Oldenburg, senior communications Manager at Strava, says that the company has not been able to confirm any cases of bike thefts related to the use of Strava, but that there are available privacy controls.
“In addition to being able to make individual activities private, our members can set privacy zones around any address, such as a home or office, so that the start and end points of an activity are not visible to other members,” Oldenberg says.
Other ways to manage privacy include approving followers and limiting who can see your bikes and the time of day you ride.
Related: The Strava Files