newsdog Facebook

Americans told to avoid FBI Fitness app over location tracking fears

The Advertiser 2020-03-25 06:19:00

The FBI is helping gym rats looking to stay in shape during the coronavirus lockdown by promoting a fitness app — but it requires users to provide their GPS coordinates.

The law enforcement agency urged people in a Monday tweet to “download the FBI’s Physical Fitness Test app to learn proper form for exercises you can do at home like push-ups and sit-ups.” The catch is that the FBI FitTest created in 2018 uses the “phone’s GPS and accelerometer,” which the FBI claims provides the user a “more realistic PFT experience.”

The digital workout tool has been slammed on social media as a sneaky way for the government to extract personal info amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“DO NOT — AND WE CANNOT STRESS THIS NEXT PART ENOUGH — DOWNLOAD THIS APP,” tweeted Fight for the Future yesterday. “I’ll pass on this one,” seconded a Twitter user.

RELATED: Cops could use phones to catch quarantine dodgers


RELATED: 20 year drag into ‘police state’

Despite the flurry of suspicious social-media posts, the FBI maintains that it “does not collect personal user data from this app; the information remains stored on the device in accordance with FBI.gov’s privacy policy.”

On Friday, New York governor Andrew Cuomo ordered New York City to be placed on lockdown, forcing non-essential businesses like gyms to shutter as the city becomes a global COVID-19 epicentre. Many have since been using the internet as a resource for at-home fitness tips and turning to apps for wellness.


While not the bureau’s official fitness test, the FBI FitTest app promises users the opportunity to “train like an agent” by engaging in a variety of equipment-less exercises, including sit-ups, push-ups, a 300-meter sprint and a 1.5-mile run.

“Whether you are at the gym, on the track, at home, or on the run, you can use the FBI Physical Fitness Test app anywhere,” reads the description on the FBI website. The mobile application — available on Google Play, Apple’s App Store and the bureau’s site — also features video workout tutorials to ensure that home fitness buffs are practising proper techniques.

RELATED: Can I still exercise outside during coronavirus?

App users can choose between “practice” and “test mode,” which can determine how they’d fare on the official fitness exam by simulating test conditions. Agency standards stipulate that to achieve a maximum score of 50, male applicants need to complete at least 58 sit-ups in a minute, perform 71 push-ups in an unlimited amount of time, run 300 meters in 40.9 seconds or less, run 1.5 miles in eight minutes and 59 seconds or less and do 20 pull ups or more in an unlimited amount of time. However, prospective agents only need 12 cumulative points to pass, according to the scoring chart.

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission.

Originally published as ‘Absolutely do not download this app’