The Singapore-based developer of Islamic smartphone application Muslim Pro has denied allegations that it is selling the personal data of its users to the United States military.
App developer Bitsmedia told The Straits Times on Tuesday that it will be immediately terminating its relationships with its data partners.
According to a Vice report on Monday, the U.S. military is buying private information gathered from apps around the world, including Muslim Pro, which has over 98 million downloads worldwide.
The data reportedly bought included location information as well as the name of the Wi-Fi network that a user was connected to.
“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, Muslim Pro’s head of community.
“As one of the most trusted Muslim apps over the last 10 years, we adhere to the most stringent privacy standards and data protection regulations, and never share any personal identifiable information.”
She added that the app developer has launched an internal investigation and is reviewing its data governance policy to confirm that all user data was handled properly.
Vice reported that the U.S. military bought Muslim Pro’s data through a third-party data broker called X-Mode.
Miss Zahariah said that Muslim Pro had started working together with X-Mode four weeks ago, but has since terminated any cooperation with the company and other “data partners.”
The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) said: “We encourage the Muslim community to exercise care when using such apps,” adding that this includes being careful about the personal identifiable information they reveal, the specific terms and conditions that come with using the apps, and the content that such apps provide.
Muslim Pro was founded by the non-Muslim Frenchman Erwan Macé, who is based in Singapore.
Muslim Pro has issued the following statement: