Why's the Trainerroad Android app requesting my location in the background?

Android 10 added a feature that notifies the user that an app is requesting the location in the background. I was surprised to get one today about TrainerRoad:

What’s TrainerRoad doing with my location?

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It’s because TR has access to your Bluetooth connection. It is possible for an application to figure out your location just by having access to Bluetooth, so Android devs decided to require apps get location permission for access to Bluetooth.

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Ummm. What in the world makes trainerroad think it is ok to digitally track our movements?

Thats about enough for me to quit trainerroad and find another avenue for training if this is actually happening.

They’re not…it has to do with the Bluetooth connectivity as stated above and in the linked thread

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Jeez. So much for giving the TR team the benefit of the doubt, not to mention failing to read the thread before flying off the handle. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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You’re worried about being tracked and yet using the internet?

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Yeah, I uninstalled and reinstalled to see what happens and got this:

(Ignore the image in the bottom corner lol, that’s unrelated)

I guess it’s a bit weird since the app wasn’t open at the time, although I think this was right after I closed the app so maybe they hadn’t shut down the BLE connection yet.

https://developer.android.com/guide/topics/connectivity/bluetooth-le#permissions

Not weird at all because the only way you can be sure that an app is terminated (and not just backgrounded) is via the app manager “force close”. Swiping in the recent apps view is not guaranteed to close down an application.

Hah, thats probably fair.

Still…companies snooping on consumers location and internet activity seems to be a pretty common exercise these days. Nothing against trainerroad…but its gotten to the point in this era its probably prudent to just assume the worst when it comes to privacy.

Probably not fair to TR (or countless other companies…) but such is the world we live in now.

Oh come on. You just spouted the textbook rationalization for every witch hunt in history. Surely we can do better.

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Sorry to be a bit late to the thread but @bclarkson is absolutely right. This was not a choice that we made, but something that was required by Android to use the internal Bluetooth on your device :confused:.

Since Bluetooth is an essential part of the app, our hands are pretty much tied, but I can assure you that we have no use for your location data, and we don’t use it in any way.

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I’m still not following. I understand the reasononing behind the phone itself requiring location to use bluetooth. But why is TRAINERROAD requiring our location? The screenshot at the top showed trainerroad using the users location.

@anon67840561 this is an Android operating system “thing”.

Android has declared (you can read the extreme developer details in the link @samthompson shared) that in order for an application to use Bluetooth, they must define access permissions for location services as well. As described before, that is because location COULD be determined via use of Bluetooth.

Since TrainerRoad needs to access Bluetooth in order to connect to your trainer, power meter, etc, they MUST define access permissions for location services. That does NOT mean that they are using location services.

The exact same thing happens in Rouvy when I try to connect to a smart trainer via Bluetooth.

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Couldn’t have said it better myself, thanks @bmullin.

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TrainerRoad app doesn’t NEED Bluetooth access though. As I use ANT+ for all of my devices, I never use Bluetooth on my phone when using TrainerRoad. So can’t this be opt-in?

Couldn’t you just turn off Bluetooth then?

It is already opt-in. In fact, all app permissions are opt-in (see @samthompson’s post above). If you want to remove permission after the fact, then go into Settings > App Permissions > Location Permissions, and disable for TrainerRoad.

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Then your other devices drop out, like Bluetooth speakers to listen to the Trainer Road podcast.

Sure, but then you get that nagging popup about allowing Bluetooth permissions each time you start a workout. I know #firstworldproblems

Trainerroad,

You have my HR rates, Power information, weight, height, age, almost all health information. You can also track me. No issues from my end :))

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