98 Million User-Data From Muslim Pro App Bought By U.S. Military For “Counter Terrorism”

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(source: Soya Cincau)

According to Vice Motherboard, the US military has purchased the location data of millions of Muslims from around the world – including Malaysians who use the prayer app, Muslim Pro.

With about 98 million downloads globally, the app is a popular one amongst Malaysian Muslims as it reminds users about daily prayers and also provides readings from the Quran.

It is revealed that the military is utilizing the data for “counterterrorism” purposes and they have used two separate methods to obtain the location data of users.

The first involved a product called Locate X. US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), a branch of the military tasked with counterterrorism, counterinsurgency and special reconnaissance, bought access to Locate X to assist on overseas special forces operations.

The second method involved a company called X-Mode, which obtains location data directly from apps then sells that data to contractors, and by extension, to the US military. The report found that Muslim Pro was also sending user data to X-Mode.

The Muslim Pro app (source: Bitsmedia)

It’s worth noting that as of right now, Muslim Pro failed to mention X-Mode in its privacy policy. There is also no pop-up when the app is installed that tells the user that their location data could be sold or shared.

Although Muslim Pro isn’t the only Muslim-oriented app that has sent data to X-Mode, it is the biggest. Another one of the apps that has been targeted is Muslim Mingle, a dating app that has been downloaded over 100,000 times.

For now, Minnesota House Representative Ilhan Omar criticized both the military and the companies behind the apps in a brief tweet on Monday. Take a look:

Let’s see what some Malaysians had to say: