Angry Birds has been downloaded more than a billion times and has generally been perceived as a harmless phenomenon – sure, it may be awful for people’s social skills, but it’s just your run of the mill viral mobile game. However, new documents suggest it may have been a “leaky app”, used to provide information to intelligence agencies.
According to a secret British report made public, the NSA and British intelligence often collected user data from mobile ad companies as well as certain applications. What kind of data could be mined from your phone’s apps? Well, all the good stuff, it would seem:
According to the report, the profiles on users the ad agencies scooped up varied depending on the agency, but most contained data like the user’s age, sex, location and phone identification. Other profiles, not necessarily related to the Angry Birds app, contain more personal information like marital status, ethnicity, sexual orientation and even household income.
We all know we’re “on the grid”, right? I mean, that’s part of the internet is that personal information isn’t quite as private as we like to believe. However, it’s crazy to imagine that harmless little mobile apps could actually be providing intelligence agencies with user’s sexual orientation, income and location. That all just seems a little worrying.
I keep thinking how sad it must be for those NSA agents who have to sift through all this data in the hopes of finding some useful intelligence. I just hope they were impressed by the number of perfect levels some people had. Time to stop worrying about the NSA watching you through the Xbox One – those spies are laughing at you every time you miss a shot at Angry Birds. That’s totally why I play Kingdom Rush – no way they’d use that, right?
Last Updated: January 28, 2014