US Senator Demands That Pokémon Go Creator Explain its Data Policies

By William Turton on at

Senator Al Fraken, best known to the internet as a champion for net neutrality, wants answers from Niantic, the developer of Pokémon Go, about how exactly it’s collecting and storing user data.

“I am concerned about the extent to which Niantic may be unnecessarily collecting, using, and sharing a wide range of users’ personal information without their appropriate consent, Fraken wrote in a letter to the company. “From a user’s general profile information to their precise location data and device identifiers, Niantic has access to a significant amount of information, unless users – many of whom are children – opt-out of this collection.”

Franken raises concerns about how the company retains the right to sell your data to third parties if the company is bought or sold. He’s also asking the company to provide a list of service providers it shares data with.

More specifically, Franken wants to know for what uses Pokémon Go collects certain information like location data and cookies, and also wants the company to explain in detail how it anonymises that data upon collection. And in the event that some of that data isn’t necessary for the app, Franken asks if Niantic wouldn’t be willing to make that collection opt-in.

Niantic’s response should be interesting, considering the company has come under heavy scrutiny for its vague privacy policy and broad data collection.

The full letter can be read here.