Pokémon Go is inescapable, but not all of the press on the game has been positive. Stories of players stumbling over dead bodies, privacy concerns, and more have been reported as the game has exploded across the world. And now Congress is getting involved. Just not for the reasons you think.
Quartz is reporting that three members of Congress, Democrats Frank Pallone, Diana DeGette, and Jan Schakowsky, sent Niantic CEO John Hanke a letter asking about Pokémon Go‘s data usage, what it does to limit data charges, and what it would do to help customers hit with large data overages. The letter overall seems very concerned with the idea that Pokémon Go burns through data and that the game doesn’t disclose this.
It’s a particularly strange line of questioning to take because despite the fact that the game can hammer your battery by using both the camera and the GPS chip in your phone, it’s not a data hog. Independent tests have shown its data usage is pretty typical for an app. It would be a rather poorly engineered game if it did hog your data, considering the entire idea is to walk around for long periods of time, interacting with the Pokémon you find.
There’s a pretty good chance that the Congresspeople in question don’t have anything to do with this inquiry. You can task your Congressional representative with asking about anything you want to know, so this could just be Pallone, DeGette, and Schakowsky doing their jobs, or at least going through the motions. That said, we hope they’re not spending too much time on this, as Congress has rather more pressing matters to deal with.