Spy Agencies Use 'Angry Birds' to Determine Users' Age, Location and Sexual Orientation

#Privacy

Mon, Jan 27th, 2014 20:00 by capnasty NEWS

The Guardian reports that the NSA and GCHQ have been targeting "'leaky' phone apps like Angry Birds" which transmit "users' private information across the internet, according to top secret documents."

The data pouring onto communication networks from the new generation of iPhone and Android apps ranges from phone model and screen size to personal details such as age, gender and location. Some apps, the documents state, can share users' most sensitive information such as sexual orientation ? and one app recorded in the material even sends specific sexual preferences such as whether or not the user may be a swinger.

Many smartphone owners will be unaware of the full extent this information is being shared across the internet, and even the most sophisticated would be unlikely to realise that all of it is available for the spy agencies to collect.

The article in The New York Times will make you wish you had what it took to ditch your smartphone in the trash once and for all:

Even sophisticated users are often unaware of how smartphones offer a unique opportunity for one-stop shopping for information about them. “By having these devices in our pockets and using them more and more,” said Philippe Langlois, who has studied the vulnerabilities of mobile phone networks and is the founder of the Paris-based company Priority One Security, “you’re somehow becoming a sensor for the world intelligence community.”

[...] Smartphones almost seem to make things too easy. Functioning as phones — making calls and sending texts — and as computers — surfing the web and sending emails — they generate and also rely on data. One secret report shows that just by updating Android software, a user sent more than 500 lines of data about the phone’s history and use onto the network.

Credit for the image above: The Guardian, on their article NSA and GCHQ target 'leaky' phone apps like Angry Birds to scoop user data.

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