US military buys location data from Quran app + Twitter suspends Iranian Petroleum Minister | Tech for the People Today – November 16, 2020

US military buys location data from Quran app + Twitter suspends Iranian Petroleum Minister | Tech for the People Today – November 16, 2020

The US military is buying location data from apps, according to a breaking story at Vice. The apps include a Muslim prayer and Quran app, a Muslim dating app, and maybe most surprisingly a “level” app that shouldn’t even need a network connection to begin with. USSOCOM (US Special Operations Command) isn’t the first to buy from Babel Street’s Locate X, and I expect we’ll see a lot more of this in the future.

The Twitter account of Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh has been suspended. The company says this is the result of US sanctions against Iran. While the US continues its economic and military posturing and attacks on Iran, the country has found ways around many of the attacks. Twitter, a US company but a global service, should not be doing the work of the State Department.

Google is being sued over its practices of using cellular data without the device owner’s consent on its Android phone operating system. One user found that 260MB was sent – even when the phone wasn’t being used. It’s probably looking for software updates and sending analytics data (which can be turned off, but not fully and not easily) – but the this extraneous data usage needs to be addressed as many people don’t have unlimited cellular data.