Top secret documents reveal that the National Security Agency and U.K.’s GCHQ snoop through “leaky” commercial smartphone apps, like Angry Birds, to discover personal information.
This was revealed through documents provided by Edward Snowden to The New York Times, ProPublica and The Guardian, which has published its latest findings. The apps unwittingly provide the agencies with information like age, gender and location.
Some “leaky” apps could even potentially provide the two agencies with other private information like a person’s sexual preference or political leanings.
The NSA and GCHQ are able to use the apps to gather plenty of other potentially useful mobile phone data, they hope might be useful in tracking down terrorists.
According to Fox News, the two spy agencies also find the Google Maps app to be useful. A 2008 report notes, “It effectively means that anyone using Google Maps on a smartphone is working in support of a GCHQ system.”
Rovio, who developed Angry Birds, insists that they were not aware of or involved in the snooping of users’ data.
An NSA spokesman spoke to The New York Times and said the “NSA does not profile everyday Americans as it carries out its foreign intelligence mission.”