We're all for keeping fit during the self isolation prompted by the ongoing coronavirus crisis. And we love guided fitness sessions. But we're not excited at the FBI choosing to get into the space by making its Physical Fitness Test app available to the public. Why? Because of all the institutions we want showing us how to get fit in exchange for some of our data, the Bureau is pretty low on the list.
Peloton has made its guided workout app free for 90 days, and the premium tier of Nike's Training app is free for the foreseeable future, too. So there's really no need to install a government app on your phone if you want to learn to do a proper push-up.
Why shouldn’t you download this app? — So maybe, you trust the FBI — you do you. Perhaps you want to join the FBI and want to see if you've got what it takes. Or maybe you're the sort who installs apps with carefree abandon before you even know what they really do. Whatever your reasons, here to give you pause are the main features of the app directly from the site:
Watch videos that demonstrate proper form and procedures for each component of the test.
Try the full Physical Fitness Test with the latest FBI scoring system and protocol used for applicants.
Use your phone’s GPS and accelerometer for a more realistic PFT experience.
The first two are fine. But do you really want federal law enforcement to know where you are and how fit you are just so you can improve your technique. P90X and Insanity workouts are already out there. YouTube and Instagram, meanwhile, are teeming with fitness gurus... and if you have a thing for uniforms, there's this existing playlist from the FBI that shows you how to do sit-ups, pull-ups, and push-ups.
The U.S. government is already in talks with Big Tech to pull our location data for coronavirus-tracking purposes. If they go through with it, it'll set a dangerous precedent, but at least the motivation will be sound. Voluntarily handing over your data isn't. Just learn how to do chair dips from a guy named Chad on YouTube. It’ll be fine. Chad really knows his stuff. Just don't forget to engage that core.