One of the sources of data is an extremely popular Muslim prayer app, Muslim Pro, which has been downloaded 98 million times. Apps that appear to be innocuous like Muslim pro, a weather tracking app and a levelling app used to help install shelves, etc have all been selling their users’ data to other data mining companies that subsequently sell that data to the U.S military, according to a report by Vice’s Motherboard.
X-mode is the company that Muslim Pro has been selling its users’ data to. X-mode lists on its website that it sells data to defence contractors, and those contractors in turn provide that data to the U.S Department of Defence.
Babel Street is one such company, which has directly sold data to the U.S military. Babel Street has a product called Locate-X, which allows its users to select any area on a map and see the movement of devices within that area. Locate X also allows its users to focus on any one device and track its movements.
Companies that sell location data insist that the data being sold is anonymised, however sources from inside these companies have revealed that it is very easy to de-anonymise the data if need be.