Pokemon Go privacy rules are terrible (just like all your other apps)

Pokemon Go wants access to your Google account (and thus your email and Google Docs) and its privacy policy is a Kafka-esque nightmare document that lets them collect every single imaginable piece of private information about your life and share it with pretty much anyone they want to, forever.

Just like all the other mobile/location apps, then.

Well, yes, but Pokemon Go is learning a hell of a lot about a lot of people, very fast.

And it’s all, or mostly, in the hands of Niantic, a small augmented reality development company with serious Silicon Valley roots. The company’s origins trace back to the geospatial data visualization startup Keyhole, Inc., which Google acquired in 2004; it played a crucial role in the development of Google Earth and Google Maps. And though Niantic spun off from Alphabet late last year, Google’s parent company is still one of its a major investors, as is Nintendo, which owns a majority stake in The Pokémon Company. Indeed, Google still owned Niantic when the developer released its first game, Ingress, which is what Niantic used to pick the locations for Pokémon Go’s ubiquitous Pokéstops and gyms.

Citing CEO John Hanke’s travel plans, a representative from Niantic was not able to clarify to BuzzFeed News if the company will share location data with Alphabet or Nintendo. A Google representative forwarded BuzzFeed News’ request for comment to Niantic.

Given the fact that Pokémon Go already has millions of users and that it has already attracted the attention of law enforcement, it seems likely that at some point police will try to get Niantic to hand over user information. And if Google’s track record is any indication — a report earlier this year showed that the company complied with 78% of law enforcement requests for user data — they are probably prepared to cooperate.

Here’s All The Data Pokémon Go Is Collecting From Your Phone [Joseph Bernstein/Buzzfeed]

(Image: Pokemon Go privacy policy)

(via Wil Wheaton)

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