Pokemon GO players may be too preoccupied trying to catch ‘em all to be concerned about privacy, but Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., has their back.
Franken wrote a letter Tuesday to Niantic, the company behind the blockbuster app that allows players to use their smartphones to virtually “catch” Pokemon scattered around their city. The senator wants to know more about how the app collects and shares user data after it is downloaded onto a phone.
“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,” Franken wrote. “I believe Americans have a fundamental right to privacy, and that right includes an individual's access to information, as well as the ability to make meaningful choices, about what data are being collected about them and how the data are being used.”
“Can you provide a list of current service providers?” Franken asked Niantic. “Does Pokemon GO also share users’ information with investors in Pokemon GO?”
After the app exploded in popularity, the company came under fire when it was revealed that Pokemon GO could erroneously be accessing users’ Gmail accounts if they used their email address to sign into their accounts. The company said it was working on a fix to eliminate the app’s ability to access all aspects of users’ Google accounts. Franken asked the company to verify the fix had been implemented and that no user data had been collected or stored while Niantic had access to Gmail accounts.