Al Franken Demands That Pokémon Go Creator Explain Its Data Policies

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Senator Al Franken, 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, Franken 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.”


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 anonymizes 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.

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


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

You can read the whole letter here.