Bejeweled 2, Angry Birds for iPhone violate your privacy, WSJ reports

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Angry Birds Data Sent BreakdownZynga and LOLapps may not be the only ones after your personal information for an extra buck. In a report published by the Wall Street Journal today, complete with flashy infographic breaking it down for reader, reporters found that games like Bejeweled 2 and Angry Birds for the iPhone and Android phones may be sending your private data such as contacts, your phone's unique ID number and even your phone number to third party marketing and advertising firms.

The report encompassed 101 of the most popular apps and games on both platforms and, more specifically, found that Rovio, the developer of Angry Birds, knows your phone's unique ID number, contacts and location thanks to you playing the game. Worse off, WSJ suspects that the company is sending that information to third parties. In a reaction statement made today by the developer, Rovio denied all allegations that it is sending this information to anyone other than Crystal, the social network that supports its games, and uses Flurry, an analytical software.

"Crystal does not store any personal information, as insinuated by the WSJ article, nor does it utilize any data without the user's explicit knowledge," a Rovio spokesperson told gaming news site Develop. "Flurry collects analytical data to display numerical data such as numbers of users per different countries based on Phone ID and general location. This information is only displayed as aggregate statistics - Flurry never stores or displays any data pertaining to an individual."

As for Bejeweled 2, WSJ found in its research that PopCap, the game's developer and publisher, knows your user names, passwords and phone number. And yes, it too is sending that information to third parties, according to the Journal report. PopCap has yet to make a statement confirming or denying the claims made by WSJ.

And don't think these are the only games and apps that could be making some coin off your private information. The chart and infographic go on to mention that Doodle Jump, Ninjump, Paper Toss, Foursquare and even Tweet Deck are having their way with a least a sliver of your personal data. While the report does point a few fingers, its true purpose is to raise awareness to the fact that our personal data may not be safe even on our smartphones.

The report ends with a poll asking whether readers feel that games and apps should notify them of when they're accessing their information. A whopping 66 percent seem to feel that it should be done every time. And if the Journal's findings turn out to be true, well, I'd have to agree.

[Via Gamasutra]

[Source and Image Credit: Wall Street Journal]

Does this report affect your perception of the mobile social games you play at all? Will you stop playing these games as a result of the news? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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