The US military has purchased the location data of millions of Muslims from around the world who use a popular prayer app and a Muslim dating app, Vice’s Motherboard reported. The report found that Muslim Pro, an app which gives precise daily prayer times and also gives users the direction to Mecca in relation to their current location, was sending user data to X-Mode.
Another app that was found sending user data to X-Mode was Muslim Mingle, a dating app that has been downloaded more than 100,000 times.
The technology website reported that the US military used two separate methods to obtain the location data of users. The first involved a product called Locate X.
The second method to obtain data involved a company called X-Mode, which obtains location data directly from apps then sells that data to contractors, and by extension, to the US military.
Muslim Pro touts itself as the “Most Popular Muslim App!” and also includes passages and audio readings from the Quran.
The app has been downloaded over 50 million times across the world on Android devices, according to the Google Play Store, and over 95 million in total across other platforms including iOS, according to Muslim Pro’s website.
According to Motherboard, US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), a branch of the military tasked with counterterrorism, counterinsurgency and special reconnaissance, bought access to Locate X to assist on overseas special forces operations.