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Singapore's PDPC investigating allegations that Muslim Pro sold user data to US military

Singapore's PDPC investigating allegations that Muslim Pro sold user data to US military

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2 -min read
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BITSMEDIA, the Singapore-based developer of the religious app Muslim Pro, is under investigation by the Republic's Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) after allegations that the company sold its users' personal data to the US military.

In response to queries from The Business Times, a PDPC spokesperson said the commission is requesting more detailed information from Bitsmedia. PDPC reminded users to be mindful of the type of permissions and personal data that they provide, and how it may be used.

In a statement on its website, Bitsmedia denied the allegations - first surfaced by US news outlet Vice - and said it has launched an internal investigation into the matter.

Vice reported on Monday that the US military is buying "granular movement data" of individuals globally.

The report said user data from Muslim Pro, an app that features Muslim religious texts and prayer schedules, was sold to X-mode, a US-based data broker whose customers allegedly include US military defence contractors.

Such data included location details, names of WiFi networks, timestamps and information about the user's phone, according to Vice's report.

Bitsmedia said in its statement on Tuesday evening that it has terminated its relationships with all data partners, including X-Mode. The company added that its users' data is secure and apologised to users for the concern that media reports have caused them.

Organisations with mobile apps available to Singapore users must comply with the data protection requirements of the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA).

With the recent passing of amendments to the PDPA in Parliament, the maximum financial penalty for breaching the Act will be increased to either 10 per cent of an organisation's annual turnover in Singapore or S$1 million, whichever is higher. The current cap is S$1 million.

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