Muslim Pro denies reports of users’ personal data being sold to US military

Muslim Pro said it has terminated all relationships with data partners. — DARRAN TAN/The Star

Muslim Pro, an app designed to provide prayer times and other religious content, has denied media reports that the company is selling its users’ personal data to the US military.

In a statement, Muslim Pro described the allegations as “incorrect and untrue”.

“Muslim Pro is committed to protecting and securing our users’ privacy. This is a matter we take very seriously,” the company said, adding that it will terminate all relationships with data partners such as X-Mode effective immediately.

The company said that aside from its Community function, every single feature in the Muslim Pro app is available to users without having to sign up or log in, explaining that this measure “contributes to the anonymity of data” that it collects and processes.

It added that anonymised data was shared with selected technology partners as part of an effort to better serve its users and help businesses enhance their product and service offerings.

“Since we were made aware of the situation, we have launched an internal investigation and are reviewing our data governance policy to confirm that all user data was handled in line with existing requirements.”

The company also apologised to users over the concerns caused by the media reports.

“We apologise to all our users for the concern that these reports have caused them and we can confirm that your data is secure with us.”

On Nov 16, website Vice reported that the US military is buying movement data of people around the world from various apps, with the most popular being Muslim Pro which had racked up 98 million downloads worldwide.

Vice claimed that it had uncovered two companies that the US military engaged to obtain this data, namely Babel Street and X-Mode, which reportedly “obtains location data directly from apps” then sells the data to contractors.

According to a report, Muslim Pro had some 5.5 million downloads in Malaysia in 2019.

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