Pokemon GO Update Could Intrude on Players' Privacy

Pokemon GO Update Could Intrude on Players' Privacy

Pokemon GO has had its fair share of controversies since its initial release, and another one has just emerged. Players have discovered that the game’s privacy policy has been updated in order to allow Niantic to track all apps used on players’ phones.

The Pokemon GO privacy policy addendum indicates that Niantic may view a phone’s settings and general information about the device, such as its operating system, as well as what other applications that are being used on the phone. As it’s a simple privacy policy, there isn’t an explanation directly from Niantic as to why it would want this information. However, speculation already abounds that Niantic may be attempting to track when users are using secondary apps in order to cheat or gain special advantages in the game.

One common cheat that Niantic has struggled to control since release is GPS spoofing in Pokemon GO. Tracking the apps on a player’s phone would easily allow the company to detect which players were using an app to convince Niantic’s servers that they were in a different physical location in order to catch a wider array of Pokemon. However, some fans are worried that Niantic may also crack down on users who are only using helpful side apps that don’t affect the game itself, like IV calculators.

pokemon go privacy policy update

Although players may not feel comfortable with the knowledge that Niantic can track what apps are being used on players’ phones, it seems unlikely that the company is doing it to sell users’ data for profit. Considering that Niantic made $950 million in revenue from Pokemon GO in 2016 alone, the company is doing extremely well financially. If word were to get out that players’ data was being sold, it would probably end up being costly for the company due to the inevitable backlash and declining playerbase it would experience as a result.

Intrusive app permissions are becoming more common all the time, and unfortunately, Pokemon GO is the latest app to join the ever-burgeoning list. Players who’ve cheated in the past should strongly consider uninstalling their GPS spoofing apps before agreeing to the new privacy policy, just in case. However, if players don’t want to be tracked at all, there isn’t much of an option except to uninstall Pokemon GO itself.

Pokemon GO is out now for Android and iOS devices.

Source: The Silph Road


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