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Strava fitness app quietly added a new opt-out for controversial heat map

Image: Strava

In January, the popular fitness app Strava ran into controversy over a global activities heat map that revealed details of military bases. To make matters worse, the path to opt out of the feature was not simple and required several clicks within the app.

The company has, however, since made a design change to make the opt-out feature more prominent. Rather than requiring multiple clicks, a toggle for the heat map is now visible on the first page of privacy settings. (The change appears to still require an opt-out, rather than an opt-in.) ACLU attorney Matt Cagle noticed the tweak.

A Strava spokesperson confirmed that the design change was made for all users in February. The spokesperson pointed to a note that the company’s CEO penned after the controversy, in which he wrote that “our engineering and user-experience teams are simplifying our privacy and safety features to ensure you know how to control your own data.”

Update, 4:36 PM: Clarifies what information was revealed by heat map.