Sophie Ryan is a Business Herald digital journalist.

Pokemon Go is collecting all your data

Millions of people are collecting Pokemon on the new app Pokemon Go while the developers are collecting their data.

Since its initial release on Friday in New Zealand Pokemon Go has captured people's attention - along with a lot of its users' information.

The developer Niantic Inc is a spinoff of Google-owner Alphabet and uses GPS in its users' smartphones to track all their movements. Niantic tracks where people go, when, how long they stayed for and keeps all of that information.

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According to the Pokémon Go privacy policy, Niantic may hold onto its users' email address, IP address, the web page people were using before logging into Pokémon Go, their username, and their location.

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If you logged into the game using your Google account and use an iOS device, unless you specifically revoke it, Niantic has access to your entire Google account. That means Niantic has read and write access to your email, Google Drive, and more.

And if Niantic servers would be hacked then the hackers would have access to your entire Google account.

Hackers are already sniffing around the app, with a fishy Android version being spotted by cybersecurity firm Proofpoint yesterday.

The information Niantic gathers from your Google Account may be shared with other parties, including law enforcement. Google's track record of complying with 78 per cent of requests from law enforcement last year is an indication that Niantic will probably be prepared to cooperate.

People can email pokemongo-privacy@nianticlabs.com to ask the company to stop storing their location and other information. You can check revoke the sharing of Google Account information here.

Niantic began as the geospatial data visualisation startup Keyhole, Inc., which Google acquired in 2004 and it played a crucial role in the development of Google Earth and Google Maps. Nintendo and Alphabet are major investors in Niantic.

- NZ Herald

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