Are Angry Birds Spying on You?

by Jeff Sovern

The Times reports that many phone apps, including the Angry Birds game (and the flashlight apps that many who lose power because of the storm on the East Coast today may use), spy on their users–and usually without the users' knowledge.  Sometimes they gather information from contact lists and even from photos. 

How should the law respond to this?  Is disclosure enough?  But will consumers read the disclosures?  More and more evidence suggests they won't.  I wonder if a prominent disclosure would work–rather than simply burying it in a EULA–or a letter grade that told consumers how protective of their privacy the app is.

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