In the first paragraph of its rebuttal Press statement, Muslim Pro Team denied selling personal data of its users to the US military, describing the report as UNTRUE and INCORRECT.
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
However, the news didn’t say Muslim Pro was selling personal data to the US military directly, rather the report accused X-Mode, a data sharing company with Muslim Pro, of selling Muslim users location data to its customers, among which is the United States defense contractors.
A Muslim prayer app with over 98 million downloads is one of the apps connected to a wide-ranging supply chain that sends ordinary people's personal data to brokers, contractors, and the military. https://t.co/mpscxHSadm
— VICE (@VICE) November 17, 2020
It is important to firstly bring out this fault in the statement because it’s possible that Muslim Pro isn’t privy to the dealing between X-Mode and the US military. Also, it is possible that the Muslim app is part of the deal. So the questions are;
Is Muslim Pro sharing location data with X-Mode and not to the US military as alleged by the VICE report? If yes, does it have an idea of what X-Mode is doing with the data since it is accused of selling data to the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) for counter terrorism? If no, why is Muslim Pro terminating relationships with X-Mode and all data partners with immediate effect and why is this coming now?
UPDATE: The prayer app Muslim Pro has cut ties with X-Mode, a data broker, after @VICE reported the U.S. military is buying location data about Muslims through apps.
The U.S. military has said the data is used to “support Special Operations Forces mission requirements overseas.” pic.twitter.com/DLvO6HUKg3
— AJ+ (@ajplus) November 17, 2020
Would Muslim Pro had severed its relationships with the accused company if this matter didn’t become public? Besides, why is Muslim Pro launching an internal investigation into a story that is UNTRUE? Why review your data governance policy now? Beyond the ‘damage control’ release, these questions need immediate answers for the over 98 million users if they want to be taken serious.
The report is 100% accurate, it does take few minutes to de anonymize the identity. You are done and dusted for now
You put all Muslim lives in danger for few bucks, how pathetic #MuslimPro https://t.co/csi8ltaWdR
— Aroha (@manakitaanga) November 18, 2020
There are also speculations from some concerned Muslim users that VICE report — which was re-published by many mainstream media across the world, might be another propaganda from the enemies of Islam to “destroy the growth of Muslim Pro and the great work they’ve been doing” for the Ummah. Yes, it is quite possible but such can only be debunked with convincing evidence and facts from the Muslim Pro beyond the press release.
— azam? (@sleepym0nkey) November 18, 2020
Again, the allegations that other apps or social networks such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Google, Twitter etc. also share users’ data without consent isn’t a justification for the popular Muslim app to do so, albeit Muslim Pro has denied it even though further clarification will be much appreciated.
Also, a critical look at the VICE report also indicted other applications (such as Accupedo, Global Storms, etc) apart from Muslim Pro, for selling data of their users to different buyers, it is quite possible for the US army to buy location data of Muslims from Muslim Pro through X-Mode as alleged, in the fight against the so-called Islamic terrorists in different part of the world. If the claim is anything to go by, for instance, the US military can use the data to track the locations of the ‘Islamic terrorists’ both real and innocent Muslims, even in their own countries and take laws into their hands without open trial among others.
You were selling data to X-Mode which was then passing on data to the US Military. More importantly, a non-Muslim has been profiting off Muslims from this app. We’ll stick to our compass and sticks🙏🏼 https://t.co/zTiyFxSymX
— Solomon (@Mizzler20) November 17, 2020
Read our previous stories on the allegation
1. US military reportedly buying location data from Muslim prayer, Qur’an apps to spy on Muslims | Read HERE
2. CAIR condemns US government for reportedly spying on Muslims using data from Religious Apps | Read HERE
3. Muslim Pro keeps mum in the face of data-selling allegation, as users uninstall app | Read HERE
4. BREAKING: Singapore-based Muslim Pro app developer denies selling user data to US military | Read HERE