It’s been revealed competitors in the Rottnest Channel Swim were tracked by GPS for four days after the event finished on Saturday.

Organisers failed to disable the feature on the race’s smartphone app and have admitted 95 per cent of users were still being tracked as of yesterday.

More than 2500 swimmers took part, but it’s unclear how many were using the app. However, screenshots published on Reddit indicated it was hundreds.

The app allowed spectators and supporters to track the swimmers in real time along the 19.7km route from Cottesloe to Rotto for the day and provided updates about Saturday’s race.

As the app hadn’t been turned off until Wednesday, competitors’ location information continued to be displayed in the days that followed – all in real time – leaving them vulnerable to the discovery of personal information such as names and addresses via social media cross-checking.

via Reddit


via The West Australian

“All event participants are being advised that the Rotto Swim app stopped transmitting on Wednesday and are being linked to the post-event survey where they can provide feedback,” a spokesperson told The West.

Rottnest Channel Swim organisers admit there was an “oversight” and have apologised to swimmers affected by the breach.

“As a result of an oversight, the tracking information from the app was not overridden and turned off after Saturday’s event. As soon as organisers were alerted to the oversight, the system was turned off,” the spokesperson said.

“App users were required to fill out their information and enable location sharing manually, with the ability to turn the location sharing feature off at any time.

“Sharing is not required, however highly recommended by event organisers for safety purposes on event day.”

Organisers promised “procedural changes” for future events.