Warning: *privacy not included with this product
Research shows prayer has modest mental health benefits. Pray.com, which bills itself as the "#1 app for Christians," aims to help users "develop a daily habit with Jesus." For $7.99 a month, users get access to things like custom daily prayers, bedtime Bible stories, James Earl Jones reading the Bible, and daily meditations. Unfortunately, it seems users have to give up a good bit of their privacy when they start their daily prayer journey on Pray.com. We won't mince words -- Pray.com has shown absolutely terrible privacy and security practices. We're not sure that has any mental health benefits.
What could happen if something goes wrong?
If you use Pray.com, you'd better pray for your privacy. Because Pray.com is absolutely awful when it comes to their users' privacy and security. They collect a ton of personal, app usage, and location information. They say they can buy data from third parties like data brokers to add to the data profile they build on you -- information like gender, age, religious affiliation, ethnicity, marital status, household size and income, political party. Pray.com then says they can use all this data to target you with ads, share with third parties to target you with ads, and share with other "faith-based organizations" so they can target you too.
There's more! They say they can publish your name, voice, and likeness and other personal information for advertising, marketing, publicity and promotional activities, as well as for any other commercial purpose. If you give them your phone number, they say you've now given them express written consent to receive promotional, marketing, and/or informational text messages and/or phone calls from us and other faith-based organization.
We don't mean to be, well, mean, but Pray.com really feels like it might be a data harvesting business targeting Christians for purposes that go way way way beyond helping them on their prayer journey. It seems they aim to collect as much data on you as they can, share that data with many, many third parties to market more products, target more ads, and make money with your personal information as a business asset. It all feels kinda icky to us.
And if anyone can explain to us why the app needs access to your phone's flashlight, well, we'd love to be shown the light.
What could happen if something goes wrong? Well, back in 2020 Threat Post reported Pray.com leaked the personal information of nearly 10 million users. Personal information like name, church-donation information, photos, and users’ contact lists. To make matters worse, ThreatPost found that Pray.com didn't secure their users' leaked personal information even after they were made aware of the problem. "The database was discovered on Oct. 6, but it wasn’t made private despite multiple attempts to contact Pray.com about the problem, according to vpnMentor. After the researchers contacted Amazon directly, the contact files were removed from the open bucket on Nov. 17." This is so, so, so bad.
Pray.com absolutely comes with *Privacy Not Included. Please be very careful if you chose to use this app. We don't recommend you do.
Tips to protect yourself
- Find another prayer app
What can be used to sign up?
What data does the company collect?
Last name, phone number, home address, and email address. Your Device location (with your consent where required by local law)
How does the company use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?
In 2020, Pray.com exposed millions of user records. A hacker could have compromised personal information on as many as 10 million people. It was reported Pray.com did not immediately fix the problem once they were made aware.
Child Privacy Information
Can this product be used offline?
User-friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Email verification is required.
Nothing Sacred: These Apps Reserve The Right To Sell Your PrayersBuzzFeed News
Good Heavens! 10M Impacted in Pray.com Data ExposureThreatpost
Christian Faith App Pray.com Leaks Personal Details of Up to 10M UsersPCMag
Faith App Pray.com Exposes Millions Through Cloud MisconfigInfosecurity
Mark of the Beast: Facebook buys people's prayers to personalize their adsInput
The Prayers of Big DataFirst Things
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