Faizel Patel – 18/11/2020
Middle East Eye Journalist Umar Farooq has urged mobile phone users to be careful what apps they download on their devices following reports that the Muslim Pro app tracks users’ location details and sells that location data to brokers with the US military being one of the buyers.
The prayer app with over 95 million downloads, reminds users about daily prayers and provides readings from the Quran including precise Qibla directions from Makkah.
According to a new report from Vice’s Motherboard, Muslim Pro is one of hundreds of smartphone apps that make money by selling users’ location data to third party brokers.
Speaking to Radio Islam, Farooq says while apps are features of a mobile users profile, it is very important to know what you are agreeing to before downloading the app.
“Any app that you have, it might be that they are selling your data without your knowledge, even if you were to read, which most people don’t read, those really long user agreements and privacy and date agreements. It’s very opague.”
Farooq says there are concerns about the geo-location details that the Muslim Pro app handed over to the US Military adding that users should delete the app.
“That is data that is updated every day while you are using the app or while it’s on your phone in the background. If you are still concerned about that, it’s definite you should delete because new information is consistently being taken, given and sold.”
Muslim Pro told Middle East Eye on Tuesday it had severed all ties with a location technology company that reportedly sold its user data to the US military.
Zahariah Jupary, head of community at Muslim Pro, dismissed Motherboard’s report as “incorrect and untrue” adding that it had launched an internal investigation into the situation and was reviewing its “data governing policy to confirm that all user data was handled in line with all existing requirements”.
Listen to the interview with Umar Farooq