Sen. Franken Wants Answers on Pokemon Go Security


We've heard from the cops and the brands, and now Congress is weighing in on Pokemon Go.

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken on Tuesday penned a letter to Pokemon Go publisher Niantic Labs, expressing concern over how much data the mobile game is collecting from its users. "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 Democrat wrote.

His letter comes after security analyst Adam Reeve last week suggested Pokemon Go "is a huge security risk," based on the "full access" app permissions granted to developers by folks logging in with a Google account. That meant iOS users could not edit those permissions (which request user ID and email address); their only option was to revoke access entirely.

Niantic on Tuesday released version 1.0.1 of the iOS app, fixing the Google permissions problem and resolving "issues causing crashes" and login/logout instability.

Sen. Franken, however, is still requesting additional information about how the game accesses users data.

"Sen. Franken is glad to see Niantic take steps to address some of the initial privacy concerns with Pokemon Go," a spokesman told PCMag. "Once he received a response to his letter, he looks forward to comprehensively reviewing what Niantic is doing to protect users' digital privacy."

Niantic Labs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Despite its popularity—7.5 million downloads in less than one week, according to Franken—Pokemon Go is not everyone's cup of tea. If you're sick of hearing about the cute characters, install the PokeGone extension for Chrome, and remove all traces of Pokemon from your browser.

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