Pokémon Go is collecting an alarming amount of players’ data while they’re out trying to collect Pokémon.
Since its release earlier this month, Pokémon Go, the free-to-play augmented reality mobile game has been a worldwide sensation. Its explosive popularity caused Nintendo’s stock to explode, adding $9 billion to the company’s value since at last Wednesday.
With already millions of users on its platform, it’s no surprise that Pokémon Go is a target for hackers. Users should take notice because Niantic, Inc., the developer company behind Pokémon Go, is collecting an insane amount of user data including email addresses, IP addresses, location as well as gaining full access to Google accounts.
As with many other location-based apps, GPS allows Pokémon Go to learn a number of things based on user movement. According to Buzzfeed, this includes your location, destination, the time you were there, the method in which you got there and the people you were there with.
The information isn’t limited to Pokémon Go and Niantic either. It may be shared with third-party service providers as well as law enforcement. Third-party service providers are able to use that information to conduct research and analysis as well as profile users for demographic purposes. Law enforcement will also be granted information collected by the app in the case of a legal claim, to protect the company’s own interests or to fight illegal or unethical activity.
It sure raises a number of concerns regarding sensitive user information and data security. Perhaps, Pokémon Go players should be more concerned about their information rather than how to cheat the game.