Angry Birds is the latest game to become embroiled in the international government spying scandal.
In December it was revealed that America’s National Security Agency and the British Government had been accessing data sourced from users of services such as Xbox Live and World of Warcraft.
Now The New York Times reports that Angry Birds has been another target of the agencies, with the game’s metadata revealing details such as a user’s location, age, sex.
Specifically, a British Government document has been found to contain the computer code needed for plucking the profiles generated when Android users play Angry Birds”.
Note, too, that Rovio has been previously criticised for the amount of data Angry Birds gathers about its users and has been accused of willingly passing this onto third parties.
The scale and the specifics of the data haul are not clear,” NYT reports. The documents show that the NSA and the British agency routinely obtain information from certain apps, particularly those introduced earliest to cellphones.
With some newer apps, including Angry Birds, the agencies have a similar ability, the documents show, but they do not make explicit whether the spies have put that into practice. Some personal data, developed in profiles by advertising companies, could be particularly sensitive: A secret British intelligence document from 2012 said that spies can scrub smartphone apps to collect details like a user’s ‘political alignment’ and sexual orientation.”
Other revelations from Snowden’s latest leaks claim that just by updating Android software, a user sent more than 500 lines of data about the phone’s history and use onto the network” and that the NSA and the British agency busily scoop up this data, mining it for new information and comparing it with their lists of intelligence targets”.