“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,” the letter reads (PDF). “As the augmented reality market evolves, I ask that you provide greater clarity on how Niantic is addressing the issues of user privacy and security, particularly that of its younger players.”
- What information Niantic collects is actually necessary for the game and its related services
- To what other uses will this information be put, and with whom will it be shared (“exhaustively describe”)
- Why Pokémon Go needs the permissions it asks for
- Whether some of this collection be opt-in, instead of opt-out
- How Niantic creates “meaningful consent” from parents regarding collection of the data their kids produce
I actually asked Niantic several times about these same issues yesterday but haven’t heard back yet — but I’m guessing Sen. Franken will have more luck.
The Senator is a reliable advocate for the progressive aspects of technology, but his office is also highly tuned in to potential violations of privacy by the likes of virtual reality, media services and new platforms like Uber.