We take our responsibility to protect our users’ privacy very seriously. So much so that none of the default settings on Map My Tracks force users to make their activity public. The starting point for every user is to keep everything private and only make it public if they choose to do so.
That said, when users do choose to make their activity public it’s important that the privacy zone tools we provide do their job to mask their data.
Through research undertaken by the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign into fitness tracking social networks like Map My Tracks they uncovered some problems with our initial implementation of privacy zones. We were provided with the details of the issue on February 22, 2018 by Hussain et al. who established an algorithm to deduce the place of interest within a privacy zone.
Their research included recommendations to further secure users’ data within a privacy zone to mitigate the risk of exposing the place of interest. Their recommendations, and a further set of our own, were implemented on February 23, 2018 and applied to new and established privacy zones.
We would encourage all our users to set up Privacy Zones over their home or place of work if they choose to make their activity public. Go to Settings > Privacy to set up as many as needed.