It has been reported that The US military is purchasing private information gathered from apps around the world, including several used by Muslims that have been downloaded nearly 100 million times, a new report says. An investigation by the online magazine Motherboard published on Monday found the US Special Operations Command was procuring location data from several companies and applications, the most popular being a Muslim prayer and Quran app called Muslim Pro, with more than 98 million downloads worldwide. Others included a Muslim dating app.
The sale of individual, personalized data collected as a side effect by mobile apps is highly problematic from a privacy perspective. While location data is necessary to determine local prayer times and directions, transmitting and storing that data in a cloud service – let alone the sale to third parties – is not necessary to provide the service and something users of the app will not reasonably expect.