Singapore-based Muslim Pro denies claims of selling personal data
The Singapore-based developer of Islamic smartphone application Muslim Pro has denied allegations it is selling the personal data of users to the United States military.
App developer Bitsmedia told The Straits Times yesterday it will immediately terminate its relationships with its data partners, without specifying their identities.
According to a Vice Media report on Monday, the US military is buying private information gathered from apps around the world, including Muslim Pro, which has more than 98 million downloads and features services like prayer times.
"This is incorrect and untrue. The protection and respect of the privacy of our users is Muslim Pro's utmost priority," said Miss Zahariah Jupary, its head of community. "We adhere to the most stringent privacy standards and data protection regulations, and never share any personal identifiable information."
It has launched an internal investigation and is reviewing its data governance policy to confirm that all user data was handled properly.
Vice had reported that the US military bought Muslim Pro's data through a third-party data broker called X-Mode. Data brokers collect data or buy it from other companies.
The data reportedly bought included location information, the name of the Wi-Fi network a user was connected to, a timestamp, and information about the phone on which the apps are installed.
Miss Zahariah said Muslim Pro had started working with X-Mode four weeks ago, but has since terminated any cooperation with the firm and other "data partners". She did not disclose on what exactly X-Mode was working with Bitsmedia.
In response to ST queries, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore said that it does not have oversight over apps like Muslim Pro and does not provide any support for them.