HuntStand Hunting App
onX scouttohunt Huntstand: data secure?
Contributors to this thread:
smarba 30-Sep-20
geewhiz 30-Sep-20
Hans 1 30-Sep-20
smarba 30-Sep-20
APauls 30-Sep-20
Pat Lefemine 01-Oct-20
midwest 01-Oct-20
LINK 01-Oct-20
smarba 01-Oct-20
Bob H in NH 01-Oct-20
Cheesehead Mike 04-Oct-20
skookumjt 05-Oct-20
smarba 05-Oct-20
Cheesehead Mike 06-Oct-20
From: smarba
I recently received an email for a mapping app I had not heard of before Scouttohunt. Knowing nothing about the company I went to their website to read about it.

The first feature listed is as follows: "Your Eyes Only We trust the tools that we depend on and believe you should too. We have taken the additional step to ensure that all your information is kept secure and only viewable by the account holder (you) through the AES256 encryption-key methodology, an unbroken encryption algorithm.

When you place and share a Marker or record a Smart Track, for example, the GPS location information becomes encrypted, hidden from anyone who does not have access to it – including Scout To Hunt. It's your data, we keep it that way."

So is that goldmine hidden wallow you marked on your favorite mapping app secure? or when you mark "400-inch bull" will a swarm of programmers privy to the data appear at that location?

Open for discussion...

From: geewhiz
I think everything you do on any device is always monitored. Not sure how "they" keep all that data or what is done with it but that is my personal conspiracy theory.

From: Hans 1
I have thought about that a lot. Always expect ONX to offer a premium membership. One that would make available others info for a certain zone or county.This recently happened with a farm service company that was thought to provide yield data and rain info storage. They ended up using that info to solicit bids on the farms by other tenants. The company is called Tillable.

From: smarba
geewhiz, I certainly understand your position. I guess what I'm getting at is if I save data only on my GPS (not phone app) it's MINE and will stay that way.

And Hans 1: the dark side of me has been wondering the same thing....

From: APauls
I always assumed those apps were started by guys who wanted better spots! Lol but I figure living in Manitoba keeps my stuff safe. Who wants to hunt here lol. By now the vast number of waypoints being thrown down would make it impossible to narrow down the good ones

From: Pat Lefemine
They are not required to encrypt your data since it’s not considered PII or personally identifiable information.

I wouldn’t worry about it. It’s just coordinates inside a database with no context. The chances of someone getting access to that data to find your favorite hunting spots is extremely remote at best. The developers that create those apps can’t tell an elk from an alligator so I wouldn’t worry about it.

Now law enforcement is another matter. I would bet that if you were suspected of committing a crime then they can ask your app developers for your data. The googles and Facebooks resist these requests but the small app companies will typically cooperate and you consent to them providing your data when you click the little box that says you agree to the terms and conditions at installation.

IMO this is a tinfoil hat level of paranoia. I have no concerns.

From: midwest
Guess I shouldn't be marking waypoints where the bodies are.

From: LINK

LINK's embedded Photo
LINK's embedded Photo
Here’s what one of the units I’ve hunted looks like. Good luck deciphering which pin is the honey hole. Lol

From: smarba
Aye caramba LINK, you've spotted sasquatch?! Or wait a minute...LINK...Missing Link...maybe there's a connection there somewhere...

From: Bob H in NH
Pat, What the heck??? "The developers that create those apps can’t tell an elk from an alligator so I wouldn’t worry about it. " Hey,I'm one of those guys!

Everything else, yup, there's not much to worry about here, if you want to take the time to hack into the DB and get my tracks and waypoints, go for it!

I was having some data management problems with OnX a year ago or so and I exchanged a few emails with them. I was informed that they could get any of my waypoints back if I accidentally deleted them. It was then that I realized that they had access to everybody's waypoints and could use everyone's information as part of their own hunting research.

In regard to deciphering waypoints, if you make detailed notes in the "Notes" section and add a photo, which I often do, there can be a lot of information stored along with the waypoint.

From: skookumjt
There's no practical way to data mine from the notes attached to the waypoints and there's way too many for humans to dig through them all.

Now if they can go into a specific person's data, that's a whole different story. Entirely possible to benefit from that. I imagine they could even track an individual's movements on any day they wish.

From: smarba
skookumjt let's put it this way. If I had access to the database of points, I'm confident I could find something useful. Goodness, we peruse Google Earth or other satellite images for hints of water, wallows, apparent pinch points, trails, etc. If I had an aerial database that already had a bunch of points on it and all I had to do was zoom around and check them out it would be piece of cake. Plus much of the "useful" information would already be labeled with icons: water, wallow, etc.

Yeah I figure that someday I'll be hunting a remote spot and one the owners or employees of OnX will show up there. I've tried to ease my concerns by telling myself that the owners of OnX probably have too much money to be hunting the public land I'm hunting...

  • Sitka Gear