Monday, January 9, 2017

Lululemon Strava Challenge - A Warning About Safety


Lululemon has partnered with Strava to start a 40 km/80 km challenge for the next two weeks and rumors are there will be lululemon prizes.  It's a nice idea but be aware that you need to run outside and your runs need to be set to "public" (why, exactly) to count. You can set a privacy zone around your house and place of work, if that is where you frequently launch your runs from. I am not desperate for free swag so I won't be participating in this nosy contest. Since you can upload the data from your garmin I'm sure it has all sorts of info on time of day and location info. Women always need to be extra vigilant about outdoor running so do some research as to what Strava is going to post on this public forum and how to maintain your privacy and safety. Here is an interesting article about privacy and tracking apps (they note that Strava will allow Google to index your runs). (Thanks to Ms. C. for highlighting the privacy concerns of this app.)


28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting, thank you

Anon said...

What is the point of this challenge? Are there prizes or anything like that as a reward?

LuluAddict said...

I think there might be prizes but it could be just a fitness motivator. However, I think it's a data mining tool for lululemon, otherwise why not count private runs towards the challenge.

Anonymous said...

The conditions are standard Strava challenge conditions. (Same as Strava's regular monthly challenges)

If your run is 'private' no one can see any information about it (not even the distance) - so that's why private runs don't count to challenges.

Yoginitiff said...

According to the other lulu group, you get a swiftly when you achieve 40 and swiftly and speedy when achieve 80.

Anonymous said...

I'd be shocked if there's any actual prizes or swag beyond getting a badge for your strava profile. Nothing is mentioned in the description and Strava almost never gives out anything tangible for challenges.

kellidotca said...

Logged 6km yesterday in -17 Celsius. I normally treadmill in that temp but I joined the challenge to boost my motivation. FYI I wore runderful pants and a run for cold pullover which was perfect.

emily said...

I'd do it, but I run on a treadmill since I work during daylight hours. I used to run at night, but I don't anymore. And it's hardly safe to announce where I am running alone, especially in the dark.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure it's just a motivator... the "prizes" as I understand them are just badges within the app.

Anonymous said...

Minus 24 degrees C here at the moment, that's not including windchill. I'm not going outside to run!

LuluAddict said...

@ a non 12:27 am - you would think the app people could make the distance count without showing the other info, or somehow hide the map info.

kellidotca said...

I saw someone ask if they'd hand out real medals to which a moderator answered with "you'll see" so it alludes to something.

Anonymous said...

No amount of swag is worth someone being able to predict where or when I will run. Especially if there are certain places or times that I naturally tend toward - don't need that broadcast on the Internet.

CatepillarInTraining said...

That is actually scary, especially given there have been recent kidnappings of female joggers. I don't understand why you can't track your workout and upload later, but I don't use garmin/strava so maybe it's a limitation with the devices.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for bringing awareness to this, for those who are not.

Haha I could leave people in the dust with this challenge. I'm a hardcore runner and I do run outside in winter, including some crazy temps. I log all of my runs, time, distance, pace, etc. I no longer use my Garmin (it died). I enjoy the simplicity of my basic watch now and I do not care for other fitness trackers or Apps.

Privacy is #1 for me - sorry companies, you don't get my data or knowing too much about me. No Strava challenge or Lululemon enticement is going to change that for me.

Anonymous said...

Nike+ lets you hide the map when you post runs. Strava needs to allow this as well. While a swiftly would be nice let's face it, there are over 40,000 people who joined this challenge. If even 1/4 get the first goal that's a huge amount of clothing they'd be giving away. I personally think it's a rumor but I guess we'll all see!

Anonymous said...

To 12:27am,

I was stalked, kidnapped, and raped when I was 16 and that was without any tracking devices. There are countless other survivors, and people who love survivors.
Therefore, it should be common sense that prompting ANYONE to pubicly share their whereabouts - especially with an activity that is often undertaken solo and in secluded environments - is a SEVERE oversight at best.

Strava ought to completely re-vamp their "standard" challenge conditions ASAP.

LuluAddict said...

@ anon 11:42 am - that's good to know about Nike +

@Catepillar - you can upload your garmin watch data, instead of using the app to track (I've heard the app drains your phone) but I believe it will still give location info, based on the displays I've seen.

Anonymous said...

It's scary that this kind of info is shared. It can make some running alone so vulernable, especially since so many run near where they live.

Kind of OT, but in a similar vein- I recently started keeping the GPS turned off on my phone. I only turn it on briefly if I need directions. I've heard from multiple friends working at marketing companies that it is very common now for whole divisions to use your GPS data along with your credit card data to track your every move and purchase throughout the day as it's happening. Looking for patterns in how you move around your city, which stores you go to most, how long you stay in that store, if you go home after or to somewhere else. So creepy.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with you anon 9:02 PM (and others)! It is very creepy. This kind of stuff really shouldn't be allowed. It is frustrating that this kind of stuff isn't made as clear as it should be and a lot of people aren't as aware of it as should be.

I'm glad LuluAddict posted this to bring awareness for anyone who is interested in this challenge.

Also, thanks for bringing up the GPS/phone issue as well. It's important to bring awareness to these kinds of things. In this day and age it's especially important with all the technology available. I do the same and keep mine turned off.

Same thing with Ebates you guys. They are tracking your every move online, what sites you visit and how often, where you are spending your money and how much you are spending and they sell/share that data with the who they are partnered with. I get that this doesn't bother some people, but where does it end? It isn't a matter of "oh, I've got nothing to hide, so it's ok" either. I don't take my privacy and personal info for granted. I value it, more than free gear(as someone above also said speaking about this strava challenge) or a discount (Ebates).

It makes me angry that "they" (whoever "they" is, who allows this stuff to begin with? government?)can get away with this... that it isn't upfront and made crystal clear... We should be able to use our phones, computers,etc without having to search through a bunch of fine print and carefully worded to"their own benefit stuff to find out. It shouldn't be allowed to begin with imo. What's next and where does it end? As long as people are ok with it and go along with it I am sure we can expect it to get worse with time unfortunately.

Sorry for the rant, not really meaning for it to be a rant, but probably comes across as one, lol!

Sadie said...

If you're that worried about your safety (as opposed to just finding something else about lululemon to complain about) don't run outside at all. A stranger driving by could just as easily stalk/follow you.

Create an alias account and call it a day.

LuluAddict said...

@Sadie - I don't get the point of posting your runs on line for strangers to see in the first place but I guess whatever floats people's boats. Don't get me wrong, I love checking my garmin data but as for sharing it, why bother. There was a woman in one of my groups who joined Strava over the summer and didn't realize the default settings and how public the info is until a stranger commented on one of her runs. It freaked her out a little bit and that is what prompted this post.

Anonymous said...

Yes, exactly, LuluAddict. I agree with you. and about the woman you mentioned that didn't realize the default settings... that is what I meant in my comment above about making things crystal clear and that they shouldn't be allowed to use default settings like this. Default settings should always be set to private, imo, then changed over if desired, unfortunately default settings always seem to be set to least private settings for stuff like this. I can relate to the woman you mentioned, I have been in same sort of situation and wasn't aware, this is why I feel it is important to share things like this and bring awareness to others who may not be.

Sean Hutchins said...

I ran 80k and can attest that I am receiving pretty sweet prizes. A shirt and shorts. Boom!

Sara said...

Did the challenge. Ran 40k and getting a short sleeve swiftly. Wahoo!

The weather here in the South cooperated so it was nice to run outside. And I run on pretty popular safe trails. Often with my cop husband.

Huzzah for free stuff. I wish I could get more rewards for completing fitness activities.

LuluAddict said...

@Sara - yeah, the rewards were pretty nice - an SS Swiftly and a pair of Speeds.

Anonymous said...

just picket up my stuff, (I'm a guy) shorts and a tshirt worth a total of $133 just for doing my normal running...so awesome!

Anonymous said...

I did 80km and just got my shirt and shorts. $68 list price on each, so $136 for following through on my planned runs.

If you are concerned about privacy, then either don't use a GPS watch or don't link it to any online accounts, the manufacturer's included. But if you're really concerned about privacy and being attacked, maybe you should skip going outside at all. After all, a criminal could observe your comings and goings at home, figure out the people/vehicles/pets/etc. at your house and prepare accordingly. They could observe you and figure out where you run over a series of occasions -- perhaps even run themselves -- and plan out a time and place to get you.

I'm writing this from the U.S. I don't know how other countries are, but it's really, really easy to get loads of personal information about someone if you know where to look. For example, I've looked up some people on YouTube, not because I was going to stalk them or had any ill intent, but because I was curious about them. Starting off with their first names, it wasn't hard to find the property they owned, court records, etc. This is all public information, and it's published by government agencies so removing yourself from data aggregators and eliminating your online presence doesn't do much. Do you own property? Vote? Get an occasional speeding ticket? Hold a business license? Hold a professional license? These things and more will get you in "the system." So as paranoid as you may be about publishing your runs on Strava, the only thing it adds are behaviors specific to your runs that could actually be figured out in person by a dedicated stalker (i.e., when and where you run).

What makes us safe is not being reclusive, but by making connections with good people and being aware of your surroundings (on runs, but at home and any other times you're in public as well). My neighbors know all about me - where I live, family members, pets, when I run, bits of where I run, where I shop, etc. - but they're good people and we all watch out for each other. By knowing these personal details, they also know when something suspicious is going on. The exact situation of a stalker, but applied for good.

I once got kudos on Strava from some random people in Eastern Europe, but that started when I joined some clubs. I have since left all clubs and tightened up privacy settings. Now the only club I'm a member of is a group of friends.

Honestly, the only real privacy concern with Strava and other sites is with biometric data, and that only applies if you wear an heart rate belt.