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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 7 March 2021

French users sue Muslim prayer app over claimed US army links

Former users of Muslim Pro app have filed complaint after reports accuse group of sharing data with companies connected to US military

Millions of people visit Saudi Arabian city of Makkah each year to perform Umrah. AFP
Millions of people visit Saudi Arabian city of Makkah each year to perform Umrah. AFP

French users of a Muslim prayer app accused of selling data that ended up with the US army are suing the company, their lawyers said on Monday.

Former subscribers to the Muslim Pro app, which claims to have 95 million users around the world, have filed the complaint after media reports accused the group of sharing its data with companies connected to the US military.

The lawsuit, revealed by France's RTL radio, accuses the company of data-protection offences, abuse of trust, endangering other people's lives and conspiracy to commit murder.

The case is due to be filed on Tuesday.

It follows a report by the Vice media group last week on how the US army bought users' geolocation data from apps around the world.

They include Muslim Pro, which has a geolocation option that enables users to determine the hour of prayer and the direction of Mecca.

The company sold this data to a company called X-Mode, which sold it on to sub-contractors and by extension the army, Vice reported.

US Special Forces could then use the data on overseas missions, the report said, speculating that they could be used for extrajudicial executions of terror suspects through drone strikes.

A day after the report came out, Muslim Pro said it was ending all sharing of its data with other companies.

The company, which was founded by a French national who is based in Singapore, said it had launched an internal investigation.

Updated: November 24, 2020 02:49 AM

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