Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Angry Birds maker Rovio: We don't share data with NSA

(Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/AFFY)
Angry Birds maker Rovio found itself in the middle of another NSA kerfuffle on Monday, leaving the company on Tuesday to try and clear the air.
Several reports cropped up on Monday, saying that popular mobile apps, like Rovio's Angry Birds, are being used by the NSA and other intelligence agencies to cull user data. The agencies are, in some cases, using "leaky" data collected via ad networks to obtain information from the programs, papers leaked by Edward Snowden and reported on by The Guardian and The New York Times on Monday, suggest.

In a statement on Tuesday, Rovio made clear that it "does not share data, collaborate, or collude with any government spy agencies."
Rovio has become just another of countless technology companies attempting to distance themselves from NSA data collection. And so far, many of the companies have been successful in proving that in a large number of cases, the NSA and other spy agencies are simply doing what they want, when they want, regardless of a particular firm's involvement.
That said, Rovio said that it needs to take a long look at its relationships with third-party ad networks if they are indeed the leaky faucet allowing the NSA to collect data.
"In order to protect our end users, we will, like all other companies using third party advertising networks, have to re-evaluate working with these networks if they are being used for spying purposes," Rovio CEO Mikael Hed said in a statement.
Rovio works with Millennial Media to embed ads into its games. The code behind those ads help to generate user data and profiles for those 13 years old and over.

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