Senator Al Franken published a letter to John Hanke, CEO of Niantic — the company that owns Pokemon Go — to address reports that the company has access to private information from players’ Google accounts.
After congratulating the executive on its massive launch, Franken cut to the chase. “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. 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.”
Franken summarized the complaints against Pokemon Go. Then he posed seven detailed questions to the company. Among the queries: What exactly will players’ data would be used for? Will players’ information be shared with app investors? How does Niantic ensure parents are providing the necessary consent for their children? Who are the “third parties” that Pokemon Go is able to share information with? And what steps are Niantic taking to correct their mistake and revoke their access to subscribers’ Google accounts?
The Senator ends his letter by requesting Hanke call his office to discuss the matter. We’re guessing that he won’t be playing Pokemon Go while he waits for an answer.