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US churches spy on believers with 'anti-pornography' apps

US churches spy on believers with ‘anti-pornography’ apps

US churches spy on worshipers with ‘anti-pornography’ apps (Image: Getty Images)

  • Applications track users’ digital paths, including screenshots and log of all websites visited;

  • Former members of the Gracepoint Church said they were forced to install the app;

  • In 2012, the church had a total of 450 probationary members.

Churches in the United States use Monitoring apps To ensure that believers do not watch pornography. Former members of Gracepoint, a Southern Baptist church, said they were forced by church leaders to install an “anti-pornography” app, Covenant Eye.

according to wired The app spies on users’ web traffic and takes screenshots of their phones every minute, before sending those details to another designated user or “accountability partner”.

The post revealed that Convenant Eye, along with another app, Accountable2You, were abusing access permissions to track users’ digital paths, including screenshots of apps in use and logging all websites visited.

In 2012 Grace Point Baptist Church had 450 members that are monitored by Covenant Eyes. Last year, the app gained more than 50,000 downloads Play Store. Rocketreach estimates the company’s annual revenue to be $26 million.

I wouldn’t call it spyware. One Gracepoint member said, “It’s more like ‘shame,’ and it’s just another way the church controls you.” wired .

Another former Gracepoint member, Grant Hao-Wei Lin, said he received “accusing emails” from his church leader a month after installing the app — and his religious leader’s biggest complaint was a survey Lin took using the hashtag “#Gay.”

Although Gracepoint was the central hub of wiredOther churches that pay similar apps for their members have also been found. Both Covenant Eyes and Accountable2 have been pulled from the Google Play Store for violating their policies, but they are still available on iOS.

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