We may disclose any information about you (or your authorized child) that is in our possession or control to government or law enforcement officials or private parties as we, in our sole discretion, believe necessary or appropriate: (a) to respond to claims, legal process (including subpoenas); (b) to protect our property, rights, and safety and the property, rights, and safety of a third party or the public in general; and (c) to identify and stop any activity that we consider illegal, unethical, or legally actionable activity
So what information could May’s government, or “private parties”, now have access to? Security engineer Jason Strange has flagged the long list of app permissions:
Considering Niantic is free to disclose any user information “to government or law enforcement officials or private parties”, the two permissions that are most concerning are the camera access and location tracking. Access to the camera and microphone allows Pokemon Go to perform audio fingerprinting. Meanwhile, the game has precise location tracking.
Therefore, as Tech journalist Natasha Lomas remarks:
you have an app that could easily be subpoenaed to track down/snoop on a person of interest.
Our Services do not have the capability to respond to “Do Not Track” signals received from various web browsers.
So, Pokemon Go enables governments, and “private parties”, to have access to huge swathes of our personal data, at the “sole discretion” of the company. The game has become so popular in the US that it has topped Twitter’s daily users, seen more engagement than Facebook, and has been installed as an app on Android smartphones more times than the dating app Tinder.
Considering the arbitrary application of state apparatus, such as the ‘domestic extremism’ police unit, this new set of keys to our personal data is very exciting for an authoritarian Prime Minister like Theresa May.
But for the rest of us, it’s quite disturbing.
READ MORE: Pokemon Go has surprising effects on the mind.
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