Muslim Pro refutes allegations of user data being sold to US military

The popular prayer app has seen over 98,000,000 total downloads, though users are now (rightly) concerned about the security of their personal information.

 

In the wake of a shocking report from Motherboard, the Muslim Pro app has denied allegations that it was involved in selling user data to third-party brokers, and that this information ultimately wound up in the hands of the US military. Muslim Pro users took to social media to decry the app, which was previously on track to hit 100,000,000 downloads before the Motherboard report.

Muslim Pro issued a brief statement addressing the situation via its website, asserting that the claims in "media reports" are "INCORRECT and UNTRUE". Within the Motherboard report, it was revealed that Muslim Pro was one of hundreds of apps allegedly collecting and selling user location data. The US military then purchased this information, though Muslim Pro's statement refutes the claim.

Muslim Pro is committed to protecting and securing our user's privacy." The app says in its statement. "This is a matter we take very seriously."

A closer look at this Muslim Pro statement raises some pertinent questions, however. The app claims that it "shared anonymized data with selected technology partners" despite also asserting that, seeing as the app is free to use and doesn't require users to sign up or log in, there is no data to gather in the first place.

Motherboard cites that user data from the Muslin Pro app was gathered by X-Mode, a third-party broker which ultimately sold the data to the US military. X-Mode claims to track 25 million US devices each month, and a staggering 40 million devices around the rest of the world; in Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America.

Our work with such contractors is international," said X-Mode in the Motherboard report, regarding its cooperation with US military services. "And primarily focused on three use cases: counterterrorism, cybersecurity and predicting future COVID-19 hotspots."

And the US military confirmed as much. A Special Operations Command spokesperson told Motherboard that data is used by the military in conjunction with overseas "Special Operations Forces mission requirements". Infamously, the US military has previously coordinated drone strikes using gathered location data.

Muslim Pro has confirmed in its statement that it has parted ways with X-Mode, however – "effective immediately". Still, it may be too little, too late, as users continue to flock to social media to document their shock. Plenty of users demonstrated themselves deleting the app, and others have gone on to leave negative reviews online. Alternative apps have also been suggested, which are touted to offer the same information about prayer times and direction, as well as Islamic supplications and extracts from the Quran.

The Motherboard report also revealed that Muslim Mingle, a dating app, has also been exchanging user location data with X-Mode.

Written by: Hannah Hart

Originally hailing from Wales, Hannah Hart graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a 1:1 in Creative Writing, going on to work as an Editor across a number of trade magazines. As a professional writer, Hannah has worked across both digital and print media, and is familiar with collating news pieces, in depth reports and producing by lines for international publications. Otherwise, she can be found pouring over a tarot deck or spending more hours than she'll ever admit playing Final Fantasy 14.

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