A new report from Buzzfeed has delved deep into the world of Christian apps, demonstrating the lengths they’ll go to acquire and then profit off your personal information. One such entity is the Pray.com app, which has a daily user base of around 10 million people. The app lets you publicly or anonymously post your prayers, so that hundreds or thousands of people can see them and utter a prayer to the Lord, with the prayer warriors coming on heavy for particularly difficult and painful overtures. This app doesn’t just have this feature, but they have other resources available, such as meditations, devotionals, audio bibles, and guided prayer for all sorts of subjects.
Finances. A strained marriage. A dead child, sexual abuse, a bad church, a diagnosis of cancer. Stress. Whatever it is, from the small to the insurmountable, people would pray. And behind the scenes, the app was paying close attention to those prayers. According to their article:
As Katie laid out her spiritual anguish, Pray.com was data mining it, matching her actions in the app to details about her that it purchased from data brokers.
One of the companies that the app sells/shares their data to is Facebook, resulting in people receiving targeted ads on the social media sites depending on what you prayed about. Prayed about a cheating spouse? You might be directed to a book about “Better/ stronger Marriage” Prayed about your weight gain? There is a banner promoting a juicer available on Amazon for only $79.99. Can’t stop fighting with your kids? How about content modules about dealing with anger and a pop-up for CALM, where you can get a therapist in only 48 hours.
And these are not small operations. They recount:
A new Catholic app called Hallow, which offers devotional content with titles like “Overcoming Hopelessness,” announced in November that it had closed a $40 million Series B fundraising round. In December, a similar app called Glorify also raised $40 million. These apps, which also collect extensive information about their users, are backed by some of Silicon Valley’s best-known prospectors
It’s not just apps but websites too. Take The Bible Gateway. Though highly useful, it is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, and for years has been making money by mining and sharing people’s personal information, using targeted ads to cover its costs. If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product. Buzzfeed reports:
Since 2017, (Bible Gateway) has fed data about the nearly 8 million people who have downloaded its app into an ad targeting system called NewsIQ, which infers interests about users based on their behavior across News Corporation apps and websites. NewsIQ claims it can “capture the preferences, opinions and emotions” of users for advertisers to exploit.
This is not a call to stop using those apps, but rather a caution that if you’re going to use them, you need to know exactly what you’re getting into.
Have you received Salvation from Jesus the Messiah? Time is running out. Jesus will return very soon. The signs of His return are everywhere in this crazy world we are living in. Please read below so that you can be saved. Jesus is the only way to Heaven. The Words below are directly from the Bible, so you can trust them.
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all )is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13)
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. IF YOU KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. (John 15:9)
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
For those of us who persevere and do what Jesus says to do, we have this to look forward to in eternity: And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
The Bible – New King James Version, NKJV