Boos Discusses ‘Pokémon Go’ Privacy Concerns and Lawsuit with Cybersecurity Law Report

Shook, Hardy & Bacon Associate Eric Boos weighs in on the privacy and security concerns in augmented reality game ‘Pokémon Go,’ as well as a recent Florida security lawsuit against the game’s developer Niantic in an August 3 The Cybersecurity Law Report article, “Is Pokémon Go Pushing the Bounds of Mobile App Privacy and Security?”

Regarding the game’s privacy concerns, Boos states, “The main privacy issues with Pokémon Go are essentially the same as most other applications – what personal information is the developer collecting from its users, how is it using this information, and do these practices match what users have been told.” When asked about the laws and regulations that govern mobile app privacy and best practices, Boos notes, “As with many legal questions, the answer here is neither simple nor straightforward. In many instances, the regulations governing the collection and use of information depend on the type of entity collecting the information.”

Boos advises companies to, “(1) only collect the personal information that you absolutely need; and (2) tell your users exactly what you’re collecting and what you’re doing with it.”

Boos adds, “The market tends to punish companies that are not completely forthright about what they’re doing. Given the popularity of Pokémon Go worldwide, I imagine that any failure to live up to their privacy obligations will quickly be uncovered.”

Regarding the recent Florida lawsuit claiming that the game’s terms of service and privacy policy are deceptive, unfair and violate state contract laws, Boos expresses, “It’s an interesting theory, and there is not an over-abundance of Florida case law on point. That being said, the FTC and other states have resolved similar questions in the past, and I imagine those opinions and orders will be the Florida court’s first stop.”