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Strava Flybys feature is fun but creepy at the same time

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Strava Flybys feature is fun but creepy at the same time

Old 06-06-20, 02:49 PM
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dr_max
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Strava Flybys feature is fun but creepy at the same time

With the Flybysfeature in strava lab, I just showed to my wife and revived my 4 most gruelling rides of last year including the Vermont six gaps 3800m elevation 220km ride, 4 WhiteFace climbs, Mortirollo Gavia Stelvio Umbrail Dolomites climb and Monte Zoncolan from my last season. Seeing all the stops I made on flybys at the top and the stops I made to remove my Sidi shoes that caused me so much pain after 150km rides, seeing the loops that my new friends I made while reaching the top of the hills and starting speaking with them brought memories.

But the fact that I can see the rides of everyone who was using strava that day around me is a little bit creepy. I think it can bring more good than bad but I can see scenarios where bad people could abuse these features.
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Old 06-06-20, 02:53 PM
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That's why people can opt out in their privacy settings.
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Old 06-06-20, 07:13 PM
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I have always felt that way. First time I used it, I was behind a group that had one weaker person. They generally faster than me but would occasionally turn around so they could ride with that person. I thought it was unusual behavior and it turned out it was a group of women when I checked on strava. Then I felt like a creeper.
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Old 06-07-20, 03:58 AM
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Flyby only shows Strava users who set their activities to public. I see lots of folks on the road whose rides don't show up on flyby. They set their activities to friends only or private, unless they're going for a PR or KOM. Most of the local pros, when their team was active, didn't set their rides to public. If they did they'd dominate every local KOM. The rest of us mere mortals who crack the top ten are enjoying a comfy delusion, thanks to the younger pros and serious amateur teams who don't set their activities to public.
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Old 06-07-20, 07:52 AM
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Not sure of the basis for concern, but couldn't you just put in an anonymous 'handle' for your name, and not use a photo that's actually of you?
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Old 06-07-20, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Not sure of the basis for concern, but couldn't you just put in an anonymous 'handle' for your name, and not use a photo that's actually of you?
...and never start or end a ride near home, or get into any sort of routine or repetition when it comes to timing of your rides or routes that you ride.
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Old 06-07-20, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by vandalarchitect View Post
...and never start or end a ride near home, or get into any sort of routine or repetition when it comes to timing of your rides or routes that you ride.
Well, no.. you set up a radius around your abode in the "Privacy Zone" section; selection of up to about 1km radius.

I'm intrigued though by the 2nd implication of a cycling stalker that might wait for you somewhere along one of your typical routes. It's pretty sad if this is a thing.
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Old 06-07-20, 09:17 AM
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Privacy zones arenít really going to stop someone if they wanted to stalk you. Think of them like a cheap cable lock; they might keep an opportunist at bay, but anyone who really wanted to could easily bypass it.

Depending on where you live, it may offer little privacy too. If I live in a rural area, there may only be one or two homes within a 1km radius of mine.
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Old 06-07-20, 09:22 AM
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Flyby privacy settings are separate from the other privacy settings - just turn it off. Real talk, though - unless you're a female, no one cares enough to stalk you, you're not that interesting.
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Old 06-07-20, 09:28 AM
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This sort of concern has always puzzled me - I can go searching county deed records and see where I've moved. I think that can be done with voter records as well, and maybe DMV. Your address isn't really private in the first place, and nothing will save you from a person camping out nearby your house. If someone wants to stalk you, Strava will at most make it a little easier, but it's not like even staying completely off Strava makes your address a secret.
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Old 06-07-20, 09:50 AM
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Yeah, one of my buddies has the "no fly by" privacy setting because he thinks people he passes will see what an awesome bike he has and then figure out where he lives so they can steal it.

There is no privacy. Get over it.
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Old 06-07-20, 10:08 AM
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I have a 500 mile privacy zone set up around my place.
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Old 06-07-20, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Flyby privacy settings are separate from the other privacy settings - just turn it off. Real talk, though - unless you're a female, no one cares enough to stalk you, you're not that interesting.
Maybe in your case ... I carry multiple sticks to beat back my many admirers anytime Iím in public. Itís worse now that Iíve dropped 10 pounds during COVID-19. Masks donít seem to help.

More seriously though, I do agree that it could be troubling for some, but probably not for most. And if anyone is legitimately concerned, itís probably best to simply stay off Strava and other forms of social media entirely. My point was that the privacy options youíre given might offer some peace of mind, but they wonít stop someone with harmful or criminal intent.
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Old 06-07-20, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I have a 500 mile privacy zone set up around my place.
I can get within 500 miles of you just looking at your user name.
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Old 06-07-20, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by vandalarchitect View Post
More seriously though, I do agree that it could be troubling for some, but probably not for most. And if anyone is legitimately concerned, itís probably best to simply stay off Strava and other forms of social media entirely. My point was that the privacy options youíre given might offer some peace of mind, but they wonít stop someone with harmful or criminal intent.
Yup, but, again - there are multiple privacy settings -
  • There's profile privacy - if a stranger navigates to your profile page, you can either let them see very basic info or you can let them see all of your rides, pics, etc.
  • There's ride privacy - your rides need to be visible to everyone if you want your ride to be eligible for Segments, group leader boards, challenges, etc. This doesn't override the profile page privacy, though. The only way that someone would see one of your rides is if they followed a link back from a Segment PR or a ride challenge (like the monthly Fondo challenge) or something of that nature.
  • Flyby Privacy - the one people seem to find the most creepy. It's easy enough to turn off. Doing so would mean that anyone that sees you out and about would have to physically tail you all the way home, yet your rides would still be eligible for group leader boards, Strava segments, etc. as long as your rides are visible to everyone. In theory, someone could see you and track you with Flyby off if a) they knew you did a particular segment, b) they were a premium member and could see the daily segment leader board c) the segment wasn't too busy that day d) your profile pic was very recognizably you.
  • Privacy Zone - gives you a radius so that your ride doesn't start/stop on your doorstep. Not very useful in more rural areas, and even in residential areas, someone could probably narrow it down to one of a few houses with little bit of mathing. I've heard that you might be able to use overlapping privacy circles, to make things a little less obvious, but I haven't tried it.

If someone is concerned about privacy, but still wants to take advantage of the leader boards, segments, etc - essentially the stuff that makes Strava Strava - probably the best combination would be to set:

Profile: only visible to followers
Rides/activities: visible to everyone
Flyby: visible to no one
Privacy zone: a circle or three in your vicinity
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Old 06-07-20, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by vandalarchitect View Post
I can get within 500 miles of you just looking at your user name.
I just use that to throw people off. I live in Belize.
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Old 06-07-20, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I just use that to throw people off. I live in Belize.
Well, you fooled me then.
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Old 06-07-20, 11:05 AM
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Iíve heard some people complain that Stravaís privacy settings are too complicated or difficult to navigate. Iíve never really found that to be the case, but Iíve never tried to think through all the permutations and complications. Good breakdown WhyFi
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Old 06-07-20, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Yup, but, again - there are multiple privacy settings -
And don't forget that you doesn't have to be you. All by itself, what would WhiFi as a name mean to anyone?
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Old 06-07-20, 12:32 PM
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I turn mine off so people who pass me won't be able to go check to find out who it is who sucks at biking so much.
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Old 06-07-20, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by dr_max View Post
With the Flybysfeature in strava lab, I just showed to my wife and revived my 4 most gruelling rides of last year including the Vermont six gaps 3800m elevation 220km ride, 4 WhiteFace climbs, Mortirollo Gavia Stelvio Umbrail Dolomites climb and Monte Zoncolan from my last season. Seeing all the stops I made on flybys at the top and the stops I made to remove my Sidi shoes that caused me so much pain after 150km rides, seeing the loops that my new friends I made while reaching the top of the hills and starting speaking with them brought memories.

But the fact that I can see the rides of everyone who was using strava that day around me is a little bit creepy. I think it can bring more good than bad but I can see scenarios where bad people could abuse these features.

I like the flyby's but that's why I set the privacy zone around my house.
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Old 06-07-20, 07:12 PM
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I love the flyby feature. I get to virtually watch again someone that I passed on a climb .
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Old 06-07-20, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
And don't forget that you doesn't have to be you. All by itself, what would WhiFi as a name mean to anyone?
To me, it means he listens to Bose and Beats.... so a good reason to never try to burgle his house, in case i accidentally hear the sound coming from his music system.

But yeah, the thing with most of these settings is that they are opt-in. My ride profiles are only for my friends/followers - not for any reason other than i often have some banter going on with my friends and i want to keep that restricted to my friends circle. So those who want privacy always have the option of staying private.
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Old 06-08-20, 12:28 AM
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I understand the concern. Today I was on mile 55 of a 63 mile ride and had a flat. Another cyclist stopped to see if I was OK. I said I was but we were chatting for a bit when I discovered I'd put a non-threaded CO2 cartridge in my saddlebag with a CO2 inflator that requires the threaded ones. Doh! Then my micropump disintegrated in my hand while using it. Dude pulled out his own minipump and let me use it and I didn't have to make the call of shame 8 miles from finishing that metric century. We exchanged names but never discussed Strava, but I looked at the flyby later and there he was, so I followed him. He was a pretty cool dude, we chatted for some time while I fixed that flat (to be honest the time off the bike while I chatted was welcome by that point in the ride), and maybe I just found another riding buddy, who knows? So far in my limited flyby experience it's been a force for good.
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Old 06-08-20, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
To me, it means he listens to Bose and Beats.... so a good reason to never try to burgle his house, in case i accidentally hear the sound coming from his music system.
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