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NSA Gets Personal Data From Angry Birds and Other Mobile Apps

 12:13 pm on Jan 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

I wonder what useful data can be extracted from Angry Birds.

US and British spy agencies routinely try to gain access to personal data from Angry Birds and other mobile applications, a report says.

A National Security Agency (NSA) document shows location, websites visited and contacts are among the data targeted from mobile applications.

It is the latest revelation from documents leaked by Edward Snowden.

In a statement, the NSA said it was not interested in data beyond "valid foreign intelligence targets".NSA Gets Personal Data From Angry Birds and Other Mobile Apps [bbc.co.uk]



 12:33 pm on Jan 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

Part of the answer is that some apps collect and transmit more data than users realise.

The Guardian article:

[theguardian.com ]

shows an NSA presentation that describes a mobile app photo upload as a "golden nugget". That is easier to see: the uploaded information typically includes place and time, and may include (e.g. in a Facebook upload) tagging of people present other than the uploader.


 3:54 pm on Jan 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

Angry Birds Developer, Rovio, denies claims it provides NSA with data. Rovio blames third party advertising as a possible source.

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.

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 alleged surveillance may be conducted through third party advertising networks used by millions of commercial web sites and mobile applications across all industries. 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 does not allow any third party network to use or hand over personal end-user data from Rovio’s apps.Rovio does not provide end user data to government surveillance agencies [rovio.com]


 6:41 pm on Jan 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

Rovio does not provide data, but can they guarantee that the data is not intercepted?

Rovio has given a reassuring answer to the wrong question. The right question is what data can the NSA get from Angry Bird by intercepting data at ISP or carrier level?


 6:50 pm on Jan 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

Intercepting is a tougher one to handle, especially when the ads are run from different ad networks.

It seems that hackers defaced the Angry Birds site. [bbc.co.uk...]

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