PopCap head Ed Allard on why web reports on app data privacy concerns are misleading

Bejeweled 2 only sends data to Facebook

PopCap head Ed Allard on why web reports on app data privacy concerns are misleading
Following up on recent claims instigated by the Wall Street Journal that iOS and Android apps are sending user data to third parties without permission, an official statement has been released by PopCap head of studios Ed Allard.

PopCap's Bejeweled 2 was one of the apps highlighted by the paper in its report.

However, according to Allard, the only data transmitted by the game is as a result of users linking the app to their Facebook account.

Data denotation

"Recent reports on user data and transmissions to third parties for a variety of iPhone applications have been misleading and possibly confusing for PopCap customers," was informed.

"PopCap would like to assure players of Bejeweled 2 for iPhone that only after they link the game to their Facebook account, will PopCap transmit that player's user name and password to Facebook."

As argued by commentators in response to the Wall Street Journal's report, it would appear many of the data transmissions highlighted by the paper are both legitimate and above board.

In Bejeweled 2's case, Allard states the sending of app data only occurs when permission is granted by the user and, as is no doubt the case with many of the other apps mentioned in the report, actually adds to the experience.

Player power

"If a player has set up his or her Facebook account to authenticate the account using their phone number, then the player has the option of transmitting his or her phone number to Facebook through the Bejeweled 2 application on iPhone," he adds.

"The transmission of user name, password and phone number is optional and occurs only after explicit player input through a Facebook login dialog box for Blitz mode. After logging in to Facebook, players can interact with their Facebook account through Bejeweled 2 on their iPhone."

PopCap's statement follows a similar denial of wrongdoing by Angry Birds studio Rovio.

"Angry Birds does not under any circumstances collect or store personally identifiable information that could be connected in any way to individual users," a spokesperson for the developer told Develop within hours of the original report hitting the web.

"Absolutely none of this has anything to do with advertisers - we don't have advertising in our games on the iOS," Rovio added, describing the Wall Street Journal article as "vague enough to instigate mistrust in our users".

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.