It was bound to happen. With mass surveillance being one of the most effective tools in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the FBI may be taking the first steps.
Monday the FBI sent out a tweet recommending their fitness app for individuals looking for ways to stay active and fit while stuck indoors as a result of the virus.
#MondayMotivation Are you looking for tips for indoor workouts? Download the #FBI’s Physical Fitness Test app to learn proper form for exercises you can do at home like pushups and situps. http://ow.ly/6y3f50yQeHj
— FBI (@FBI) 3/23/20
As multiple users started pointing out, however, when the app is downloaded, it asks for specific location information, as well as what WiFi networks you connect to. While Twitter may not always be the bastion of sound, measured responses, in this case the Twitterverse appears to be spot on in largely taking a hard pass on downloading the app.
“To protect the system from unauthorized use and to ensure that the system is functioning properly, individuals using this computer system are subject to having all of their activities monitored and recorded by personnel authorized to do so by the FBI (and such monitoring and recording will be conducted). Anyone using this system expressly consents to such monitoring and is advised that if such monitoring reveals evidence of possible abuse or criminal activity, system personnel may provide the results of such monitoring to appropriate officials. Unauthorized attempts to upload or change information or otherwise cause damage to this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under applicable federal law.”
In view of that statement, it looks as though it is technically possible for the FBI to legally justify using the app for surveillance. Consider yourself forewarned.