We all need a positive and encouraging friend in these times of social distancing. The FBI, it turns out, wants to be that friend to you.
The agency perhaps most associated with lobbying against encryption and your privacy put on a bright and cheery face Monday morning, encouraging everyone stuck at home to get a little exercise with the help of the FBI’s very own mobile app. That’s right, the FBI wants you to download its app onto your smartphone.
“#MondayMotivation Are you looking for tips for indoor workouts?” asked the FBI. “Download the #FBI’s Physical Fitness Test app to learn proper form for exercises you can do at home like pushups and situps.”
Thankfully, the pandemic has yet to render us devoid of a sense of humor, as the across social media replies were both instant and scathing.
NICE TRY, COPS
— Dave aka Mediocre Jedi 🏹 (@MediocreJedi) March 23, 2020
Notably, the app was not born out of the current pandemic — though with today’s tweet its makers appear to be riding the global crisis’s coattails. First released in the summer of 2018, the app promises to help you train as if you were preparing for the “official FBI Physical Fitness Test.”
“Use your phone’s GPS and accelerometer for a more realistic PFT experience,” implores the FBI’s press release.
Importantly, that same press release claims that the “FBI does not collect personal user data from this app.” So, yeah, if you want to take an FBI press release at its word, there you have it.
The app is available on both iOS and Android, and a visit to the App Store suggests a less than welcomed reception by the likes of the internet. One self-described troll praises the FBI, writing that it’s “refreshing to know the FBI is watching my every move and will swoop in to save me when I need them most.”
In other words, even if the FBI Physical Fitness Test app isn’t spying on that doesn’t mean it’s helping anyone get ripped. No, for that you’d want the FBI Bank Robbers app.
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