EU lawmaker accuses Pokemon Go creators of data privacy breaches

 Pokemon Go, the latest mobile gaming craze, could be in breach of EU data protection rules, one of the bloc's lawmakers warned Wednesday, calling on the European Union's executive to look into the issue.

The game, which was released last month, involves players using a mobile phone application to search for Pokemon - rare cartoon monsters - around real-life geographical locations.

It quickly became a worldwide phenomenon, nearly doubling the stock price of brand-owner Nintendo overnight.

But Socialist EU lawmaker Marc Tarabella said the game's creators, Niantic, are using it as a means to collect users' data.

Niantic started up as part of Google but spun off as an independent company a year ago.

"The conditions of use are stuffed with seemingly abusive clauses that create a significant imbalance in the rights and obligations, to the detriment of the player," Tarabella said in a statement.

In particular, he said Niantic can gather users' Google and Facebook email addresses, uses cookies to follow their navigation, can track websites visited, and can retrieve a player's location and IP address, as well as the last web page opened.

To play Pokemon Go, users have to accept a confidentiality policy that is detailed in a separate document, Tarabella added, arguing that the user has "no real consent" over Niantic's actions.

He said he would formally ask the European Commission to launch an inquiry in the coming days.

Earlier this month, Tarabella issued similar warnings over the Tinder dating app, the Runkeeper app to track exercise and Happn, which helps people connect.

Last update: Wed, 24/08/2016 - 12:25
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