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Four Ways to Make Pokémon GO Safer for Kids

It's not all fun and games when kids' privacy is put at risk with this popular game taking the world by storm.

Common Sense is calling out the maker of the wildly popular app Pokémon GO because the company appears to have traded children's privacy and security concerns for maximum profit. We've got nothing against making a profit, but we have a big concern when it's done at the expense of kids' safety and privacy.

In our letter, we ask that the company take several steps to change the app to ensure greater privacy, security, and safety for minors who use the game, including:

  • being more transparent with parents, so they can make informed and meaningful choices for their kids who want to play the game;
  • proactively protecting the physical safety of children and teens playing the game;
  • ensuring privacy and security in the game from the ground up;
  • and committing to not treat children as business assets who can be bought and sold for advertising and other purposes.

Pokémon GO is arguably already the most popular mobile game in history. It has been downloaded over 20 million times and boasts a daily population of more active users than Twitter. Because many of these users are children, Niantic must pay far greater attention to the impact of Pokémon GO on those children's privacy, security, and safety.

Common Sense Kids Action fights on behalf of all kids, from online privacy to paid family leave. Join our efforts and become a Kids Action advocate today!

Ariel Fox Johnson
Ariel Fox Johnson is Senior Counsel for Global Policy at Common Sense Media, where she advocates for smart practices, policies, and rules to help all kids thrive in today’s wired world. Her work focuses on enhancing family privacy rights, strengthening students' educational privacy, and promoting robust consumer protections in the online world. She frequently advises policymakers, industry, and tech experts, and has helped develop laws on student privacy, consumer privacy, and the Internet of Things. Ariel is a graduate of Harvard College and Law School. Prior to joining Common Sense, Ariel worked on privacy, media, intellectual property, and technology matters at corporate law firms, and provided pro bono assistance to nonprofits and asylum seekers.