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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Muslim prayer, dating app selling location data of users to US Military: reports

US Military has reportedly bought the location data of millions of Muslims from across the world who have used popular a Muslim prayer app

US Military has reportedly brought the location data of millions of Muslims from across the world who have used popular Muslim prayer app and dating apps, reported Vice’s Motherboard.

The technology website claims that the US Military used two methods to obtain the location data of the users. The first method involves the usage of Locate X.

According to Motherboard, US Special Operations Command, a branch of the US military tasked with counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, and special reconnaissance bought access to Locate X to assist Overseas Special forces operations.

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The second method involves obtaining data from the company called X-Mode that directly obtains data from the applications and sell to contractors.

The reports claimed that the Muslim Pro app, that gives prayer timings and direction to Mecca from the user’s current location. The app also provides Quranic recitation to the users and claims itself as the popular Muslim applications.

Another Muslim app that was sending data to X-Mode was Muslim Mingle, a dating app that has been downloaded more than 100,000 times.

The tech website noted that the people who were involved in providing location data to third parties were Muslims.

Senator Ron Wyden told Motherboard that X-Mode was selling location data taken from US phones to US military customers.

“In a September call with my office, lawyers for the data broker X-Mode Social confirmed that the company is selling data collected from phones in the United States to U.S. military customers, via defense contractors. Citing non-disclosure agreements, the company refused to identify the specific defense contractors or the specific government agencies buying the data,” the statement read.

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Back in April, the CEO of X-Mode, Joshua Anton revealed that the company tracks 25 million devices in the US every month and 40 million elsewhere including Latin America, European Union, Asia-Pacific region.

Observers have commented that users of these apps would be shocked to know their data is revealed to the US Military.