A recent report shows that when the app is run from iOS devices it gains access to all user information in their Google accounts. The game developer, Niantic Labs, recently promised to fix the problem.
The company promised to allow the app gather only “basic profile data” on its users such as email address and user ID. But the news, however, was a red flag for privacy-concerned users.
Under the Terms and conditions of the game, the company is currently entitled to gather user data and share it with the government, police, or “private parties” to comply with the current legislation.
The company said that it “may” disclose information about the users or their children playing the game to government agencies and third parties i.e. companies “as we, in our sole discretion, believe necessary or appropriate.”
What’s more, some conspiracy theory groups observed that Niantic’s founder John Hanke is a former State Department employee who has ties with the CIA and Department of Defense. Hanke was also behind a startup called Keyhole which developed the technology powering today’s Google Maps.
But if you’re not buying the conspiracy thing or you are among the 58 percent of Americans who would happily share their private data with companies as long as they have control over what they share, there are more reasons of concerns regarding Pokemon Go.
Last week, two NY senators showed in an investigative report that many time the app gets kids in locations that are dangerously close to high level convicted sex offenders’ homes.
Furthermore, sex predators currently have full access to Pokemon Go maps so they can target kids in the areas where their favorite digital collectibles spawn. Police have also warned that the mobile app may be used by thieves and other criminals to find easy prey.
There are reports around the world, that the app led to car crashes, robberies, and other unfortunate incidents. In a conflict zone, it even directed a group of users into a minefield.
France’s health department has recently issued a warning to all Pokemon Go trainers. The agency praised the app because it helps users get off their sofas and exercise more, but urged players to pay attention to accidents.
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