Revelations of the extent of the National Security Agency's (NSA) spy programs were an ongoing story during 2013, creating rifts between politically-aligned nations and creating a mess for diplomats around the globe. The situation doesn't look to be dying down any time soon, though, and now even some unlikely companies are having to deny cooperation with the NSA.
Rovio, the Finnish video game developer behind the popular Angry Birds series, this week released an official statement denying any involvement with the NSA. The company's games were mentioned in recently leaked documents as a target for the NSA's data collection programs.
Rovio insists that it does not "share data, collaborate, or collude" with any spy agency, including the NSA and the GCHQ. However, the company does admit that Angry Birds user data may have been collected through third-party advertising networks. The NSA may have been able to access this information through such ad networks, though Rovio's policy is to forbid ad networks from sharing user data.
“Our fans’ trust is the most important thing for us and we take privacy extremely seriously," said Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio. 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. 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."