Relax, Friends: Angry Birds Didn’t Tell The NSA How Much Time You Spend Playing It
At least, that's what they want you to think.
After a recently released report that suggested the NSA collected user information from apps “like” Angry Birds, Rovio Entertainment has released a press release saying that they definitely didn’t collude with the NSA to provide that information. It was probably those darn pigs, is what it was.
According to the 2012 British report that was part of the documents leaked by Edward Snowden and which was made public by ProPublica, the New York Times, and the Guardian, the NSA and its British counterpart began collecting user data from mobile companies as early as 2007. One aspect of this data that they managed to infiltrate was the Android profiles generated by Angry Birds, which managed to supply the government with its users’ ages, genders, locations and phone identifications. Don’t get cocky, though, iOS users, because the NSA can reportedly get all up in your iPhone, too.
The good news is that apparently Angry Birds isn’t intentionally giving the government this information, which they confirmed in an official statement today. Says Rovio Entertainment CEO, Mikael Hed:
Our fans’ trust is the most important thing for us and we take privacy extremely seriously. We do not collaborate, collude, or share data with spy agencies anywhere in the world. As the alleged surveillance might be happening through third party advertising networks, the most important conversation to be had is how to ensure user privacy is protected while preventing the negative impact on the whole advertising industry and the countless mobile apps that rely on ad networks.
While the news that the Angry Birds app is leaking user information confirms my already deeply held belief that it’s a an awful app that’s not worth downloading, it is admittedly nice to see Rovio stepping up and taking a stand against the idea of directly dealing information with agencies that want to spy on us. You know, even if it’s mostly to save their own hides.