Almost everyone is familiar with Angry Birds, as popular as the game franchise has become it should be no surprise that we’re seeing the faces of those little birds and pigs just about everywhere. With widespread popularity like Rovio has achieved with their game, it was a shock to hear things like Rovio sharing personal user data with government agencies such as the NSA and the GCHQ. Yesterday we reported about the fact that the NSA was apparently mining personal data from users through the way of apps like Angry birds and Google Maps, among others like photo sharing apps. While this was most likely disturbing to hear for many Angry Birds fans out of the millions of users who downloaded the game over the years, Rovio is taking a step forward to issue a statement that they have absolutely no relationship with outside government agencies like the NSA or the GCHQ, and they certainly don’t share any personal user information or data with those agencies. This must have been quite frustrating for Rovio games to hear, and rightfully so if these statements previously made about the data sharing were completely untrue, as they seem like a fun loving bunch that just wants to share their love of games.
The words from Rovio on their website do well to help reinforce the fact that the company has no ties to any government surveillance agencies, as they state that their “fans trust” is the most important thing for them and that they take privacy very seriously. Rovio goes on to explain how it could have been possible for the NSA to get ahold of and collect personal data in other ways, stating that the NSA could have targeted Third Party Ad Networks, which could be used by virtually millions of commercial websites and mobile applications across all industries. Rovio also states that they don’t allow any third party ad networks to use or hand over users personal data to be “used for spying purposes”.
Since it is a possibility that government agencies such as the NSA and the GCHQ could be collecting their data from targeting third party ad networks, Rovio among others will have to sit down and re-evaluate whether they continue to do business with such third party ad networks, especially since they don’t want to compromise users personal information. It’s good to hear straight from Rovio themselves on the matter, and we hope that in light of this they continue to produce and put out amazing games.