Recently there have been claims that the famous Muslim Pro app has been selling information to the U.S. military.
For those of you who might not know, Muslim Pro provides accurate prayer times, azan clock, an audio recording of the Quran, locations for Halal restaurants, and more. It’s a one-stop app for all Muslims and is especially useful when they are travelling to another country.
On November 17, 2020, some information came to light from Motherboard that data of Muslims around the world were being sold to the U.S. military, including their location and movement.
The U.S. military bought the information through a broker.
Muslim Pro would sell the data of its users to a location data broker called X-Mode, and the broker would sell the information to defense contractors which in turn, provides the data to the U.S. military.
The app currently has 98 million downloads across both Android and iOS. In Malaysia alone, there are about 12 million monthly active users, according to New Straits Times.
That’s not the only app which has been selling user data. Muslim Mingle, a Muslim dating app, has also been selling its data to the U.S.
X-Mode CEO Joshua Anton told Motherboard that the company tracks 25 million devices within the U.S. alone and 40 million in countries like the European Union, Latin America, and Asia Pacific. X-Mode previously also said that it has its algorithm in about 400 apps.
The company added, “X-Mode licenses its data panel to a small number of technology companies that may work with government military services, but our work with such contractors is international and primarily focused on three use cases: *Counter-terrorism, cybersecurity and predicting future COVID-19 hotspots.”
It has also been reported that the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) bought access to Locate X, a location data service from a company called Babel Street. Former Bable Street employee told Motherboard that they could draw shapes on a map and view all devices that are within that shape.
While Bable Street claims all the data is anonymized, the employee said they could easily deanonymize a person.
Muslim Pro has denied these claims.
On the other hand, Muslim Pro has released a statement shutting down these claims.
Media reports are circulating that Muslim Pro has been selling personal data of its users to the US Military. This is INCORRECT and UNTRUE. Muslim Pro is committed to protecting and securing our users’ privacy. This is a matter we take very seriously. #MuslimPro pic.twitter.com/2Lu0Zgvso1
— Muslim Pro (@MuslimPro) November 17, 2020
Its states that people can use the app without signing in, which contributes to the anonymity of the user’s data. It will also be terminating its relationships with all data partners, including X-Mode immediately.
If you’re still cautious about using the Muslim Pro app, another app which has been gaining traction is the Waktu Solat app, which was developed by Media Prima in collaboration with the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM).
ที่มา : Mashable