Anyone concerned about what privacy they have or what permissions they allow on their mobile phones seem not to care anymore since downloading Pokemon Go which is a free app on Android and iOS.

If you’ve not heard about it ….. haha – Pokemon Go is an Augmented Reality Game from Nintendo, The Pokémon Co., and developer Niantic Labs.  The aim of the game is to discover and train Pokemon that will appear around you on your phone, in the real world.  To complete this game you will have to travel far and wide during the day and night, and if you can’t do that, there are in-game purchases to help you complete the game, which is where Nintendo will make their money.

So now to privacy…

I’m not just talking about the fact that is a location tracking game – for a kids game, this should ring alarm bells on its own. No, I’m talking about the permissions you have to allow to play the game and the Pokemon Go – Niantic – Privacy Policy, which in one part informs you that they may share your information to other parties.  And that it wants full access to your Google account and or your Facebook account.  Don’t get me wrong, I am as excited as anyone else in the UK to know when Pokemon Go is coming out in the UK.  Its seems these delays have made us all want Pokemon Go all the more. However, I don’t have small children who are using this game on their phones.

Its brilliant that this game is getting our kids outside again – if we can ignore the fact that we have already seen Robbers using the Pokemon Go app to target victims  and seemingly causing other real life dangers.  Also be aware of these things in the game called Lures, which you place at Pokestop to lure out many Pokemon at once, this Lure not only brings Pokemon but it also brings lots of kids,

Also be aware of these things in the game called Lures, which you place at Pokestop to lure out many Pokemon at once, this Lure not only brings Pokemon but it also brings all the kids, you can buy Lures, so you don’t have to be someone that is playing the game, you can download the game for free and literally Lure kids to you.  I don’t want to be a kill joy – I think its a great game, and great for kids, and also for adults but we need to keep up with the dangers, permissions we allow and especially our safety.

Its in all the news that the NSPCC wanted the release delayed – the Dailymail said – Pokemon Go is a gateway for paedophiles Claims NSPCC – aparently the NSPCC are in contact with Niantic.

So back to permissions – the permissions are very similar to those from a similar game called Ingress, which isn’t at all strange as this was also created by Niantic – and has been around for 2 years, and we’ve not seen any problems with however its not really kids.

Permissions, Privacy and Safety – Pokemon Go

So to start off with, once you have downloaded your game in order for it to play you need to.

Let it look at your contacts

Let it know your location

Modify and delete contents of your storage

Prevent the phone from sleeping !

 

pokemongo

UPDATE 

After many complaints Niantic realised that full access to your Google account wasn’t needed.  So that seems to have been changed to access to basic account information. 

You can check yours here – it should have changed froand also see what else has full access to your Google account too. 

I’m hoping that there will be many updates over the next few days.

 

And then we have the PokemonGo privacy policy which states that it collects information about you or your child – such as user name and messages sent to other users

During game play we will collect certain information, such as your (or your authorized child’s) user name and messages sent to other users.

We collect certain information that your (or your authorized child’s) mobile device sends when you (or your authorized child) use our Services, like a device identifier, user settings, and the operating system of your (or your authorized child’s) device, as well as information about your use of our Services while using the mobile device. We may use this information to provide the Services and to improve and personalize our Services for you (or your authorized child).

They collect and store information about your or your child’s location, of course, this has to happen as you are sending your location to them so that they can show you where the items are, but this information is also shared with other users.

Location Information.

The App is a location based game. We collect and store information about your (or your authorized child’s) location when you (or your authorized child) use our App and take game actions that use the location services made available through your (or your authorized child’s) device’s mobile operating system, which makes use of cell/mobile tower triangulation, wifi triangulation, and/or GPS. You understand and agree that by using our App you (or your authorized child) will be transmitting your (or your authorized child’s) device location to us and some of that location information, along with your (or your authorized child’s) user name, may be shared through the App. For example, when you take certain actions during gameplay, your (or your authorized child’s) user name and location may be shared through the App with other users who are playing the game. We may also use location information to improve and personalize our Services for you (or your authorized child).

Information is not private it MAY be shared with third Parties

We may share aggregated information and non-identifying information with third parties for research and analysis, demographic profiling, and other similar purposes. This information will not include your (or your authorized child’s) PII.

Some people can stop some of this collection,  but it seems the information they already have they can keep or send it to third parties.

 

Parents may request and obtain access to PII stored about their children who are under the age of 13 by contacting us at pokemongo-privacy@nianticlabs.com. If you want us to modify or delete your (or your authorized child’s) PII and/or your (or your authorized child’s) Account, or discontinue the provision of your (or your authorized child’s) PII to third parties, please contact us at pokemongo-privacy@nianticlabs.com with your request. We’ll take steps to modify or delete your (or your authorized child’s) information as soon we can (unless otherwise permitted by applicable law). Please note, however, that some information may remain in archived/backup copies for our records or as otherwise required by law.

Following termination or deactivation of your (or your authorized child’s) Account, Niantic, its clients, affiliates, or service providers may retain information (including your (or your authorized child’s) profile information) and user content for a commercially reasonable time period for backup, archival, and/or audit purposes. If you have any questions about termination or deactivation of your (or your authorized child’s) Account, please contact us directly at pokemongo-privacy@nianticlabs.com.

 

Just make sure you read these permissions, take them in, look at what your kids are doing on the app, be safe.