Rovio denies sharing Angry Birds user data with NSA
Rovio Entertainment, developers of Angry Birds, has denied rumors that it provides end user data to government surveillance agencies such as the NSA.
"Rovio Entertainment Ltd, which is headquartered in Finland, does not share data, collaborate or collude with any government spy agencies such as NSA or GCHQ anywhere in the world," the company said in a statement.
"There has been speculation in the media that NSA targets Angry Birds to collect end user data. The speculation is based on information from documents leaked by Edward Snowden," the statement continued. Snowden, of course, is the man responsible for initiating the NSA leaks.
In denying the accusations, Rovio claimed that it was possible that the alleged surveillance may have been conducted through third party advertising network used by millions of commercial websites and mobile apps. "If advertising networks are indeed targeted, it would appear that no internet-enabled device that visits ad-enabled web sites or uses ad-enabled applications is immune to such surveillance," Rovio said, reiterating that they do not allow third party network to use or hand over personal end-user data.
“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”, added Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio Entertainment. “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.”